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Jets blank Sens in 2-0 win

by Erin Nicks
KANATA, Ont.Chris Mason silenced Ottawa's comeback kids and held them off the scoreboard for the first time this season.

Mason stopped all 25 shots he faced as the Winnipeg Jets shut out the Ottawa Senators 2-0 in front of a capacity crowd of 19,927 at Scotiabank Place on Monday night. The Jets put a halt to their three-game losing streak, while the Sens experienced their first regulation loss of the month after going 6-0-1 since Jan. 1.

The Sens hadn't been held off the scoring sheet since Mar. 1, 2011, when they suffered a 1-0 loss to Boston. Jim Slater and Tobias Enstrom had the goals for Winnipeg.

"Shutouts are something the team does together," Mason said. "I get credit for it on my record, but I wouldn't have got it if (the team) didn't do the things they did tonight."

Sens goalie Craig Anderson made 33 of 35 saves, while Mason picked up his second shutout in four games and sixth victory of the season. 

"I thought our guys did a perfect job of boxing out in front of the net so we could get our chances," Mason said. "We've earned those breaks here and I'm very thankful for it."

The Jets needed just 49 seconds to get on the scoreboard, as Chris Thorburn fed the puck to Slater in the slot, and he tipped it past Anderson to give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead. It was Slater's first goal in eight games.

Jumping out to the lead was integral to the Jets' success on Monday, as they've gone 0-14-2 when trailing after two periods. Andrew Ladd was pleased that his team was able to strike quickly.

"(The Sens) had (us) hemmed in there for the first 30 seconds or so, and to be able to come down and get a goal took a lot of air out of their sails," Ladd said. "We took off from there."

Winnipeg doubled its lead in the second period, when Kyle Wellwood passed to Enstrom, who delivered a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle that beat Anderson through the five-hole at 6:48. Enstrom now has three points (one goal, two assists) in four games.

"(Tobias) got a four-man rush up the ice and I was able to get it to (Wellwood) who made a great pass to (Tobias) and I just tried to fall in front and get a screen," Ladd said. "Luckily enough it went in."

Mason's best save came halfway through the third period, when Sergei Gonchar's high wrister was snapped up by the goaltender's glove. The Sens came close late in the period, when Chris Neil put it off the crossbar with 3:15 left. Bobby Butler then put it off the post six seconds later.

Mason was grateful for his posts and his teammates for allowing him to have a great game, and in particular, a stellar third period.

"I thought we've been looking for that game the past couple of weeks," Mason said. "We're a fairly low-scoring team, and those one or two breakdowns have cost us lately. I thought tonight the guys did a wonderful job and we were able to have a great third period."

As for the Senators, they have only a few hours to regroup before heading out to face the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday. Jason Spezza insisted that the team wouldn't get down before heading out to face its fiercest rival.

"We worked hard; I don't think it was a letdown game," he said. "We have to credit them -- they played well and didn’t give us much. We didn't do enough to generate our own chances and generate power plays. I think we were ready.

"We've got a lot of hockey coming up and a lot of tough games, so it's good to have a chance to get back to our winning ways. We always talk about when you're winning games, it's easy to keep winning, and when you're losing you have to try to get back on the winning track. Our focus now shifts to (Tuesday) and learning from tonight's game."
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