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Mason, Savard, St. Louis up for Fan Fav award

by Staff
Every Saturday night throughout the regular season — coinciding with the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast on CBC and RDS — NHL representatives will evaluate NHL player performances from the week prior to select the top three NHL player performances for that week.

Fans then will have the opportunity to go online at and vote for their favorite player from amongst the three nominees.  At season's end, each winning player will be placed in a pool with the other weekly winners, from which a panel of independent NHL judges will narrow down the list to 10 finalists based on their season-long performances. Fans will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite NHL player from these top 10 finalists. Exciting NHL prizes will be available to both U.S. and Canadian participants.

It's hard to have a better week than our three Scotiabank Fan Fav nominees had.

Columbus Blue Jackets rookie goaltender Steve Mason was all but unbeatable. The Jackets' third-round pick in the 2006 Entry Draft continued his superb play with back-to-back-to-back shutouts, beating Philadelphia at home and Los Angeles and Anaheim on the road. He extended his shutout streak to 199 minutes, 19 seconds before Colorado's Darcy Tucker put the puck past him on Friday night — but that was the only goal he allowed in a 6-1 victory that extended his and his team's winning streak to four games.

For the week, Mason was 4-0-0 with a goals-against average of 0.25. He stopped 93 of 94 shots.

"It's very comforting to have him back there," teammate Chris MacDonald said. "If he sees the puck, he's going to stop it. He's very much under control and he's pretty confident for a 20-year-old."

Marc Savard and his Boston teammates haven't faced Mason yet, but it would be an interesting battle. Savard continues to fuel the offense of the Eastern Conference's best team, which won 10 consecutive games before losing to Buffalo on Saturday.

Savard scored a pair of goals and set up six others last week as the Bruins swept their four games. He's fourth in the NHL with 49 points and is on pace to reach the 100-point mark for the first time.

Like Savard, Tampa Bay's Martin St. Louis is a threat every time he touches the puck. The 2003-04 Hart Trophy winner had only one goal in three games last week, but that's because he was busy setting up his linemates. St. Louis assisted on seven goals in the three games for the improving Lightning, who are trying to battle their way back into the playoff hunt after a poor start.

Carolina center Eric Staal was last week's winner. The No. 2 pick in the 2003 Entry Draft personally carried the Hurricanes to a victory against Atlanta by scoring three goals in a 4:31 span of the third period, twice pulling his team even before getting the game-winner in the 5-4 victory. It was his second hat trick of the season. If that wasn't enough, Staal also was involved in all of Carolina's scoring in the Hurricanes' 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens five nights earlier, scoring once and setting up the 'Canes other goals, including Tuomo Ruutu's game-winner in overtime.

"The big fellow is one of the great players in the game," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said after Staal's one-man show in the third period against the Thrashers.

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