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Blue Jackets look for more in Atlanta

by Brian Compton
BLUE JACKETS (7-4-0) at THRASHERS (6-4-2)

TV: Fox Sports-Ohio, SPSO.

Last 10: Columbus 7-3-0; Atlanta 5-3-2.

Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They last faced each other on March 11, when Columbus earned a 2-1 victory at Nationwide Arena. Kristian Huselius had a goal and an assist for the Blue Jackets.

Big Story: Columbus is beginning to find its way under rookie coach Scott Arniel, as the Blue Jackets have won seven of their last 10 games and are climbing up the standings in the Central Division. Tuesday's 3-0 win against Montreal pulled the surging Blue Jackets within a point of first place.

"Each game we're getting better and better," Columbus captain Rick Nash said. "We finally had lots of chances (on Tuesday). Power play, 5 on 5 … hopefully it just keeps on getting better."

Team Scope:

Blue Jackets: Mathieu Garon hasn't received a ton of playing time in the early going this season, but he certainly makes the most of it when he gets the call from Arniel. Garon stopped all 29 shots he faced on Tuesday night and improved to 3-0 with a 1.15 goals-against average.

"I've been maybe a little lucky," Garon said. "When I've played, we haven't played a bad game this season. It feels good. We have to win at home. If we want to be in the top eight teams (making the playoffs), we have to be dominant here at home."

Thrashers: Atlanta received contributions from everybody on Wednesday night. Chris Mason made 52 saves, Fredrik Modin scored a pair of goals and Niclas Bergfors scored the game-winner in the Thrashers' 4-3 victory against the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

"I knew I was busy, yeah. I had some constant work," Mason said. "The guys held on and we did a good job in the last five minutes."

Who's Hot: Nash and Derick Brassard each have 4 goals and 11 points for Columbus. … Bergfors extended his career-high point streak to five games on Wednesday night.

Injury Report: Huselius (foot) and Mike Commodore (thumb) are day-to-day, while Ethan Moreau (broken hand) is out indefinitely. … Thrashers forwards Bryan Little (concussion) and Patrice Cormier (broken foot) and defenseman Freddy Meyer (upper body) are all on injured reserve. 

Stat Pack: Through 11 games, the Blue Jackets are the only NHL club that hasn't scored more than three goals in any game. But the Jackets' 3-0 win over Montreal on Tuesday was their first win by more than two goals this season.

Puck Drop:  "That's a lot of shots, and Mason did a terrific job. Everybody's aware of the chances they had. But we scored one more goal than they did. It was a good team effort with Mason leading the way. We need to see what we can do differently because we can't have our goalie face 55 shots every night." -- Thrashers forward Fredrik Modin after Wednesday's 4-3 win at Florida

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