Chris Mason stopped 23 of 24 shots and was credited with the first-ever goal by a Nashville Predators goaltender as the Preds defeated the visiting Phoenix Coyotes by a 5-1 score to continue what would be a six-game winning streak to close out the 2005-06 regular season.
Mason, who was the last Nashville player to touch the puck before Phoenix inadvertently passed it into their vacated net on a delayed penalty call, won his fifth straight game and became only the ninth NHL goaltender to be credited with a goal. The Red Deer, Alberta native’s play while stepping into the starter’s role with Tomas Vokoun going down to injury even garnered the praises of a hockey legend.
"I guess you could call that the 'Grant Fuhr Hat Trick'--stop a breakaway, win a game, and score a goal," Phoenix Head Coach and Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky said. "Mason's stepped in, and he's done a nice job for them. It's always good to see a guy step in and get a chance and take advantage of it."
Remarkably, the goal wasn't the first of Mason's professional career.
"Actually I got almost exactly the same thing in Milwaukee almost four years ago," Mason said. "A puck went off my blocker and a guy came around net and ultimately put it into his own goal. It's a cheesy goal. I'd rather one of the other guys get credit for it, but whatever."