By Adam Brady (firstname.lastname@example.org)
ANAHEIM – It’s certainly going to be a Happy New Year for Columbus goalie Steve Mason.
The Ducks became the rookie netminder’s third straight shutout victim, as he saved all 27 shots in beating Anaheim 2-0 in a New Year’s Eve bout at Honda Center. The victory snapped a five-game losing streak for the Jackets against the Ducks (though Mason wasn’t in net for the two losses to Anaheim this season). It was just the second win in the last nine on the road for Columbus.
"They had their chances and they capitalized on them," said Ducks forward Corey Perry. "And we didn’t."
|The Ducks battled hard all night, but couldn't get anything past the rookie Mason.
The Ducks fell to 19-15-4 on the season, while Columbus jumped to 17-16-4.
"He’s been playing well.," said Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf of Mason. "We watched him a couple of games before leading into tonight. We knew we had to get some pucks at him. I thought we did that pretty well at the start of the game."
Said Mason of the shutout string, "You try not to pay attention to it. You know the old saying that you’ll jinx yourself if you think about the shutout. It was nice to get, but obviously the most important thing is the win. It was a pretty routine for me. The guys played great in front of me and made it real easy."
But the closest the Ducks got to finding the net came with 2:08 left in the second period, when Corey Perry came from behind the net and whipped a wrist shot over Mason’s shoulder. But the goal was surprisingly waved off when officials ruled Ryan Getzlaf interfered with center R.J. Umberger in front of the Columbus net. Getzlaf and Umberger went at it seconds after the puck went into the net, sparking a scuffle between the two teams. Both players got roughing penalties, but more importantly, the Ducks lost what had seemed like a sure goal, much to the boisterous dismay of the Honda Center crowd.
"The referee said that I went to the net and ended up taking a couple of guys with me there," Getzlaf said. "I think it was a matter of us running into each other. It was his interpretation of the play. We had to live with it. Those are the ones that can go either way. You don’t really agree with them all the time, but that is the way it went tonight."
|Perry looked like he had a goal late in the second, but it was controversially waved off by officials.
The Ducks went down 1-0 with 12:27 left in the third when Craig MacDonald, just called up from the AHL last Saturday, tipped through a Mike Commodore point shot.
With the Ducks looking for the equalizer, the Jackets instead got some important insurance, as Michael Peca got his stick on a bouncing puck and slung a shot through traffic past Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere.
Giguere was otherwise sharp on the night, denying several Columbus opportunities on his way to 27 saves. But the Ducks couldn’t get much going on the other end of the ice as they dropped their final game in what has been a rocky 2008.
"It was a flat game, emotional-wise for us," lamented Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "We had a lot of trouble getting any noise on the bench. Those are ones that you don’t know why, but you try to pump people up and push. It just seemed that we couldn’t get any emotion going for ourselves."
The Ducks play the second game of their homestand Friday night against Philadelphia, part of a stretch in which they play six of their first seven at Honda Center to begin 2009.
20:00 - END OF GAME - It's a tough loss for the Ducks, as Mason records his third straight shutout in beating Anaheim, 2-0.
19:28 - A Ryan shot from the low circle clangs off the near post.
19:23 - Ryan gives a nice fed to Scotty Niedermayer on the doorstep, but Mason slides over the stop it.
18:18 - CBJ Penalty - Mike Commodore, 2 min. cross checking. Commodore gives it to Ryan near the Columbus net.
17:45 - The Ducks send Giguere to the bench for an extra attacker.
17:26 - COLUMBUS GOAL - MICHAEL PECA - Nash tries to send the puck toward Peca in between the circles and it bounces to him after Scott Niedermayer deflects it. But somehow Peca controls it long enough to sling it through traffic past Giguere. Dagger to the heart for Anaheim.
16:00 - The Ducks move the puck well in the Columbus zone, but can't get a good shot off.
14:50 - Nash tries to go one-on-one with Brett Festerling
with the puck in the Ducks' zone, but Festerling shoves him to the ice. The crowd loves it.
Why is it so often there are good-looking girls sitting behind the team benches? Is that like an NHL mandate to make the games more watchable on TV?
14:10 - Giguere stonewalls a Rick Nash shot from deep right wing. He's been very sharp tonight.
Okay, maybe overtime wouldn't be so bad now.
13:38 - A Ducks team that was once outshooting the Jackets 10-4, is now trailing 27-22 in that department.
12:00 - A cheer of "Let's Go Ducks!" rises from the crowd. I'll tell you what, this place is a lot more full than I thought it would be.
10:20 - Montador drills a slap shot, saved. Kunitz tries to tap in the rebound, saved.
8:31 - Sammy Pahlsson gets on the rush and takes a shot that somehow knocks Mason's mask off as he blocks it. The puck is loose briefly behind him, but it's swept away by Columbus.
7:33 - COLUMBUS GOAL - CRAIG MACDONALD - Mike Commodore rips a shot from just inside the blue line that MacDonald tips through with his back to the net. It's the first of the season for MacDonald, who was just called up from the AHL on Saturday. Somebody better tell the Jackets though. He's not even on their roster on the website. It's 1-0 Columbus.
6:50 - Pronger smartly sends the puck up to Marchant just as he's released from the bin, but he can't do much with what looked like it might be a breakaway.
5:29 - It's Giguere again, as he gloves a heavy one-timer from Kristian Huselius.
5:10 - The Jackets nearly get one through, but Giguere is too tough.
4:43 - ANA Penalty - Todd Marchant
, 2 min. tripping. With the Jackets pressing hard after Parros loses the puck, Marchant takes down Kris Russell.
0:52 - The Ducks get the big kill to start the period.
0:00 - Here we go in the third, and allow this to be the first time I'm mentioning that I really don't want overtime tonight.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - The Ducks look like they take the lead courtesy of Perry, but the goal is waved off and we're still scoreless. The Jackets gets some power play time when we come back.
19:28 - Pronger lays out big time to block a shot on the penalty kill.
18:52 - ANA Penalty - Scott Niedermayer, 2 min. holding. The Ducks face a 5 on 3.
17:52 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. interference and 2 min. roughing and R.J. Umberger, 2 min. roughing. Perry lights up the crowd by skating from behind the net and whipping a wrist shot over Mason's shoulder into the top corner of the net. But it's waved off as Getzlaf is called for interfering with Umberger in front of the net and gets a roughing call as both players go at it after the puck goes through, causing a melee against the glass. When it's announced the goal is being waved off, the crowd loses it's collective mind. And frankly, they're right to be mortified.
17:33 - Columbus coach Newt Gingrich inexplicably calls timeout with 2:27 left in the second.
The Power Players are wearing cardboard top hats for New Year's. I'm not that big a fan.
15:15 - The puck changes hands and Morrison ends up ahead of the defense. He skates in on Mason, but can't find the mark, as he lifts it way too high. Mason might have nicked it with the glove.
13:25 - CBJ Penalty - Rostislav Klesla, 2 min. holding. Another shot for the Ducks to break this damn kid's shutout string.
12:50 - Giguere traps a hard shot on the rush by Dorsett. The crowd likes it.
During the timeout, it's a special New Year's Eve Kiss Cam, which basically just means they write Happy New Year at the top of the screen. If it was an authentic New Year's Eve Kiss Cam, it would be a bunch of people drunkenly kissing each other, then never seeing each other again. The highlight comes when one wife (I assume) actually shakes her head when Hubby tries to go in for the kiss, but she finally relents. Yeah, I'm gonna get married
8:18 - CBJ Bench minor, 2 min. too many men on the ice.
8:15 - Columbus is outshooting the Ducks 8-1 in this period. Maybe the Ducks might want to pick it up.
5:59 - Derek Dorsett pushes Scott Niedermayer into Giguere, causing Niedermayer to topple over Giguere. So Parros comes up and shoves Dorsett in the back, sparking a mini-scuffle. Derek Dorsett, maybe not a good idea to shove Scott Niedermayer until we've actually heard of you.
4:59 - Giguere gets a break as he somehow stops a Jared Boll shot despite leaving the left half of the net open.
Nathan McIver is shown on the bench, once again with a look on his face like he's about to break down in tears.
0:00 - Here we go in the second.
20:00 - END OF PERIOD - You know how you usually have high hopes about New Year's Eve and you inevitably end up disappointed? Yeah, that's how that first period kind of felt. We're scoreless, as the Ducks outshoot Columbus, 10-7. It's seven straight periods of shutout hockey for rookie Steve Mason.
19:33 - Giguere makes a couple of nice saves in traffic and the official blows the whistle even though the puck is still loose in the crease. Nash is all over Giguere after the whistle and Giguere decides to tackle him to the ice. Kind of impressive, actually.
18:15 - Parros gives Columbus tough guy Jared Boll a shot for no good reason. Look for that later.
During the break in the action, we're still urging Ducks fans to text their All-Star votes to 81812 using the back of the Power Players' t-shirts. Must be working.
It's trivia time and contestant Ben is asked who the Ducks played in their first ever New Year's Eve game, in 1995. He's given the choice of the Jackets, Kings and Lightning. He guesses Kings and he's ... RIGHT!
12:56 - Just as the Getzlaf penalty ends, Marchant blocks a shot with such force, it nearly flies into the second deck.
10:50 - ANA Penalty - Ryan Getzlaf
, 2 min. slashing. First penalty for the Ducks. Not the first of 2008, however.
10:20 - Getzlaf tries to wrap the puck around Mike Commodore for a shot, but it's kicked away.
Power Player Tara does a heck of a job as the Ruby's girl for that traditional promotion. Love the enthusiasm. I'm proud of her.
10:12 - Pronger launches a rocket from behind his own blue line, and Mason really has to look it in to save it. Deal with that, rookie. (Whatever.)
Not the best crowd we've had here this year, but it's not bad, considering.
6:15 - A Michael Peca shot caroms off Pronger right to Giguere and almost underneath him. Nash charges into him and raises his hands as if it's a goal while simultaneously pushing Giguere back into the net. It's waved off.
5:50 - Bobby Ryan
tries to clear it out of the zone and his stick snaps in half. Nash picks up the loose puck, but Pronger races over to put the pressure on and the shot goes over the glass.
5:04 - CBJ Penalty - Fredrik Modin, 2 min. hooking. Another chance for the orange and black.
4:26 - Mason flips the puck over the glass, and even though the Ducks think it went straight out, officials rule it was tipped. Not sure.
3:46 - The Jackets kill it thanks in part to Mason.
1:46 - CBJ Penalty - R.J. Umberger, 2 min. hooking. An R.J. Umberger sounds tasty right now.
1:14 - Kunitz fires a shot from the slot that Mason stops. We'll see just how good this kid is tonight.
0:57 - Perry sneaks behind the D and gets a feed from Getzlaf, but misses high.
0:00 - And we're underway at Honda Center with six hours left in 2008.
Starting Goaltenders - ANA Jean-Sebastien Giguere; CBJ Steve Mason
Starting Skaters - ANA Travis Moen, Samuel Pahlsson, Rob Niedermayer, Scott Niedermayer, Brett Festerling
; CBJ Kristian Huselius, Manny Malhotra, Rick Nash, Fedor Tyutin, Rostislav Klesla
Scratches - ANA Bret Hedican, Ryan Carter
; CBJ Marc Methot, Alexandre Picard