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At the Rink blog

Mason to start for Jets vs. Devils

Tuesday, 01.17.2012 / 5:45 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / At the Rink blog

NEWARK, N.J. -- Winnipeg Jets coach Claude Noel will ride the hot man between the pipes when his club pays a visit to Prudential Center to face the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

Chris Mason, who made 25 saves in recording a 2-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Monday, will earn a second straight start against the Devils less than 24 hours later. It will be Mason's third career start against New Jersey (1-1-0, 2.93 goals-against average, .902 save percentage).

"He's played great all year and he's been hot lately," Jets captain Andrew Ladd told NHL.com. "He feels confident in net and we feel confident in having him back there so it's great to see. He's one of those guys who works so hard every day and is just a consummate professional so to see him get this opportunity is fun for us to be a part of."

Winnipeg is 0-6 this season when playing the second game of back-to-backs, so Mason will certainly have his work cut out. For the season, Mason is 6-3-0 with a 1.99 GAA and .923 save percentage in 12 appearances. It marks the first time this season he'll earn two straight starts.

"For me, Mason has played well," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "Why wouldn't I give him back to back starts? He's earned the right. Our job as coaches is to try and help players get better and succeed and it's a tough task for him. He's played one of every four or five games, and he has an opportunity to feed off of [Monday night's] win and play well. We're trying to help him and that's why he's getting the start."

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mike_morreale

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery