Blue Jackets

Game Recap

Jackets off to first-ever 2-0 start

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

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Jackets off to first-ever 2-0 start
Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Vancouver Canucks 3

History was made in Vancouver on Monday night.

For the first time in the franchise's existence, the Columbus Blue Jackets opened a season with back-to-back victories as Rick Nash paced the club with three assists and Steve Mason made 40 saves in a 5-3 victory against the Canucks at General Motors Place.

"This was a huge game for us," Mason said. "This is a tough place to come in and play, but our guys put forth a very good effort."  

Meanwhile, Vancouver (0-3-0) is on the opposite side of the spectrum, as the Canucks have opened the season with three straight losses for the first time since the 2001-02 campaign. Vancouver -- which went 7-0-2 in the preseason -- dropped a 5-3 decision at Calgary on Thursday before being blanked in a 3-0 loss at Colorado on Saturday.

The Canucks got off to a good start when Henrik Sedin broke a scoreless tie at 15:29 of the opening period, but Columbus responded with four unanswered goals. Antoine Vermette erased the 1-0 deficit in the final minute of the first before Kristian Huselius gave the Blue Jackets the lead just 2:07 into the second.

Rotislav Klesla put Columbus up by a pair when he tallied his second goal in as many games at 5:29 of the second off a feed from Kristian Huselius. Rookie forward Nikita Filatov made it a 4-1 game just 22 seconds later with his first goal of the season, which prompted Canucks coach Alain Vigneault to pull Roberto Luongo in favor of Andrew Raycroft.

Luongo allowed four goals on 12 shots, with the last three tallies coming in a span of 3:44. He's also allowed 11 goals in less than eight periods to start the season as his save percentage has fallen to .820.

"Obviously, I didn't have a great game," Luongo said. "We got ourselves into a hole early and it was kind of like the first couple of games, we tried to battle back. It's tough to make comebacks in this League."

Despite the captain's early-season struggles, Vigneault isn't about to panic.

"Roberto is one of the best goaltenders in the League and definitely one of the hardest workers in this League, so he's going to find his game like he always does," Vigneault said. "The other parts of our game are pretty good. Obviously, we're making a few mistakes, but we are generating a lot. We're not that far away."

Vancouver got on the comeback trail at 8:27 of the second on Christian Ehrhoff's first goal of the season. Willie Mitchell got the Canucks to within one when his blast from the point beat Mason 7:37 into the third period.

"We really ran out of gas," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "But we battled. Vancouver worked extremely hard, and they really competed at a high level throughout the game."

But the Canucks were unable to notch the equalizer, and Fedor Tyutin iced the victory when his blast from the point went past Andrew Raycroft for a power-play goal with 3:57 remaining. Columbus will look to make it three in a row on Thursday at San Jose.

"We're starting off on the right foot for myself and for the team as a whole," said Mason, who has stopped 72 of 76 shots thus far. "We're just happy with the 2-0 start."

-- Brian Compton,

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.

scoring summary
1st Period
Henrik Sedin (1) ASST: Alexandre Burrows (1), Kevin Bieksa (1)
1 - 0 VAN
Antoine Vermette (1) ASST: Rick Nash (1), Mathieu Roy (1)
1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
Kristian Huselius (1) ASST: Rick Nash (2), Rostislav Klesla (1)
2 - 1 CBJ
Rostislav Klesla (2) ASST: Kristian Huselius (1), Rick Nash (3)
3 - 1 CBJ
Nikita Filatov (1) ASST: Antoine Vermette (1), Jakub Voracek (2)
4 - 1 CBJ
Christian Ehrhoff (1) ASST: Willie Mitchell (2), Steve Bernier (1)
4 - 2 CBJ
3rd Period
Willie Mitchell (1) ASST: Mikael Samuelsson (1), Ryan Kesler (1)
4 - 3 CBJ
PPG - Raffi Torres (1) ASST: Fedor Tyutin (2), Kris Russell (1)
5 - 3 CBJ
Power Play Stats
Power Plays1/30/3
Power Play %18.1%20.4%
% on Road20.0%17.6%
% at Home16.3%24.3%
League Rank18th10th
penalty summary
1st Period
Darcy Hordichuk  Roughing against  Jared Boll
Christian Ehrhoff  Hooking against  R.J. Umberger
Marc Methot  Elbowing against  Mason Raymond
Rostislav Klesla  Cross checking against  Sergei Shirokov
2nd Period
Marc Methot  Roughing against  Shane O'Brien
Shane O'Brien  Roughing against  Marc Methot
3rd Period
Jan Hejda  Holding against  Kyle Wellwood
Mikael Samuelsson  Hooking against  R.J. Umberger
goalie stats
Steve Mason
SA: 43TOI: 60:00
Saves: 40EV: 33 - 36
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .930SH: 2 - 2
Roberto Luongo
SA: 12TOI: 25:43
Saves: 8EV: 4 - 8
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .667SH: 0 - 0
Andrew Raycroft
SA: 12TOI: 32:43
Saves: 11EV: 11 - 11
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .917SH: 0 - 0