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Jackets top slumping Panthers 3-2 in shootout @NHLdotcom
It won't show up on a stat sheet, but Maksim Mayorov has scored an NHL goal.

The rookie, playing in his ninth NHL career game and third this season, had the lone goal in his first NHL shootout, and Steve Mason stopped all three Florida Panthers attempts to lead the Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win on Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena.

"We needed this goal. We needed this win," Mayorov said after Columbus ended a four-game losing skid and a string of six straight home defeats. "We tried so hard, we worked so hard. We deserved this game."

Mayorov, the second shooter for the Jackets, rifled a wrister from the right hash mark past Scott Clemmensen's glove.

He refused to concede that it was his No. 1 move.

"Oh, I've got a couple," said Mayorov, who has yet to get an official point during brief call-ups in each of the past three seasons. "It's one of my favorites."

Mason then stopped Mike Santorelli and Sergei Samsonov to seal the win and break the Blue Jackets' streak of six consecutive shootout losses.

"In the last two shootouts, we haven't scored one goal," he said. "Max made a great shot. In practice, his shot is very deceptive. Obviously, it fooled Clemmensen."
Scottie Upshall and Antoine Vermette scored in regulation for Columbus, which staved off official elimination from the playoff race in the West.

"These guys needed a win to lose that crappy feeling we've had for an extended period of time, especially at home," Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. "We were real good for most of the game. Guys aren't quitting, they're still playing hard and going after teams."

Upshall, acquired at the trade deadline in a four-player deal with Phoenix, was enthused about the performance.

"Great effort by our offensive guys. We created a lot of chances early. We played just a solid game," he said. "We were on the right side of the puck, we didn't take too many chances. Guys stepped up, a lot of guys played some big minutes and got the job done for us."

Mayorov, the Blue Jackets' fifth pick (No. 94) in the 2007 Entry Draft, is trying to impress coaches so he can stick with the team.

"We battle every game, every period, every 20 minutes. We go as hard as we can," he said. "Especially for me, I need to show the coaches that I can play here."

Evgeny Dadonov and David Booth had goals for Florida, which lost its sixth in a row and went 0-3-2 on a five-game road trip that ended with shootout losses in Pittsburgh and Columbus.

"We looked like we were playing our fifth game in seven nights," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "It was a real gutsy effort by our group. The last game of a road trip that hasn't been easy."

To make matters even worse, the Panthers lost one of their mainstays, veteran forward Marty Reasoner, for the rest of the game after he blocked a shot in the first period.

Mason stopped 29 shots through overtime. Clemmensen had 30 saves.

The Blue Jackets, who've struggled all season at Nationwide Arena, were glad to finally win one at home.

"Certainly (Mason) has had a tough go, as has the rest of the team, with us trying to score goals recently," Arniel said. "It's good for him. He won us the hockey game by shutting them down (in the shootout). It was important for his confidence."

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