Mason stopped 34 shots Friday night to lead the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-0 victory over the Red Wings, snapping a five-game losing streak in Detroit.
It was Mason's 17th career shutout, his second of the season and third against Detroit. He had 10 of those shutouts in 2008-09, when he won the Calder as the NHL's top rookie and finished second in the balloting for the Vezina Trophy, which goes to the NHL's top goaltender. But his numbers haven't been nearly as good since.
But on Friday, he was flawless.
"He looked big and he looked comfortable," Columbus coach Scott Arniel said.
"For him to get the shutout tonight, a great feeling for him and us," said Murray, who scored into an empty net with 1:12 remaining.
Mason said the Blue Jackets played great defensively in front of him.
"Our backcheck, especially in the third period, did a good job and took away their forecheck," he said "And that took away the momentum they were trying to build."
"We weren't hard on them or hard on their goalie at all," Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Our urgency level until we got down 2-0 wasn't there."
Vermette's 12th goal opened the scoring with 7:51 left in the first period. He came off the bench and beat Howard with a one-timer from the high slot off a pass from rookie Matt Calvert.
"I never saw the pass. All I did was hear the shot," Howard said. "In that situation, you're in trouble if you can't see it."
Boll made it 2-0 with 7:49 left in the second period when he one-timed Murray's passout behind Howard from just outside the crease for his sixth goal..
Columbus killed off a 1:06 two-man Detroit advantage late in the second period.
"A good penalty kill starts with goaltending," Arniel said. "From there we blocked some shots and limited their chances down low."
Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said not scoring on the long 5-on-3 was damaging..
"We had the 5-on-3, didn't execute," he said. "A goal would have gotten us back into the game."
Added Babcock: "Obviously tonight, we weren't good enough. They came into our building, in front of our fans on a weekend night, and beat us 3-0."
The Wings were still without center Pavel Datsyuk (broken bone in right hand) and forward Tomas Holmstrom (broken right hand). Both may be able to play Saturday when the Wings visit Nashville. Datsyuk has missed 18 games and Holmstrom seven.
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Power Play %||21.7%||23.8%|
|% on Road||21.5%||20.7%|
|% at Home||22.0%||26.6%|
|Jiri Hudler Holding against R.J. Umberger|
|R.J. Umberger Interference against Ruslan Salei|
|Derick Brassard Interference on goalkeeper against Jimmy Howard|
|Derek MacKenzie Interference on goalkeeper against Jimmy Howard|
|Todd Bertuzzi Interference on goalkeeper against Steve Mason|
|Johan Franzen Hooking against Matt Calvert|
|Antoine Vermette Tripping against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Jan Hejda Boarding against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Grant Clitsome Tripping against Justin Abdelkader|