I hung with Steve Mason on my fantasy team for a long time before finally pulling the plug. Then he got a shutout but I wasn't buying it. He went back to sucking. Now he gets another shutout. I'm still not buying it. He's burned me too often. I'm sorry, Steve. It's not you, it's me. Actually no, it's you. Maybe next year you'll have changed enough.
Anyway, Mason stopped 40 freaking shots and Columbus blanked the West's best team, San Jose, 3-0. It's actually Steve-o's second straight shutout. (So OK, one more and maybe I'm back on board.)
Antoine Vermette scored an empty net goal and had an assist, Kristian Huselius made a nice pass to set up a nifty Rick Nash goal, and Jakub Voracek also scored for the Blue Jackets, who are eight points out of a playoff spot and with a lot of teams between them and No. 8 Calgary.
Maybe they should have waited?
So there was a column in a Washington newspaper today. ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, which rarely talks about hockey, had the Capitals as the lead. The topic was the same: Will the Olympic break ruin Washington's record winning streak?
The answer: No. Montreal will ruin Washington's
Despite blowing a 5-2 lead going into the third period, the Canadiens knocked off the Capitals on Tomas Plekanec's second goal of the game with eight seconds left in overtime for a 6-5 win. Washington's win streak ends at 14.
Mike Green's power play goal three seconds into a power play started the comeback at 5-3, then Brooks Laich scored his second and third goals of the game to tie the score at 5-5. His hat trick goal came with 18 seconds remaining with Jose Theodore pulled for an extra attacker. Nicklas Backstrom also scored.
Tom Pyatt and Scott Gomez had a goal and assist each - Pyatt's first of his career - and Sergei Kostitsyn posted three helpers. Glen Metropolit and Maxim Lapierre also scored for Montreal, which got 33 saves from Carey Price.
In other action
--Dan Ellis stopped 37 shots and Nashville edged the Rangers, 2-1.
--Chris Kunitz scored a pair of goals and Pittsburgh outlasted the Islanders, 3-1.
--Martin Hanzal and Radim Vrbata posted a goal and assist each and Phoenix held off Minnesota, 3-2.
--Bobby Ryan scored twice and Todd Marchant's deflection gave Anaheim a 3-2 win over Edmonton. Ethan Moreau scored a shorthanded goal and set up another for the Oilers.
--In a thoroughly exciting game that had a combined 38 shots on goal, the 38th shot ended it as Simon Gagne scored in overtime to give Philadelphia a 3-2 win over New Jersey. It was the Flyers' second-straight win by that score over the Devils after trailing 2-0. The goal was Gagne's first since Jan. 12 and just his second of 2010. Which is weird because he had a hat trick on Dec. 30 to close 2009.
--Kyle Cumiskey needed all of nine seconds to give Colorado a 4-3 overtime win over Atlanta. The Avalanche trailed 3-1 early in the third but roared back for the victory and reclaiming first place in the Northwest Division. Paul Stastny had three assists for the Avs. Niclas Bergfors scored a goal and assist for the Thrashers.
Pat Quinn-ism of the night
"It sure looks like we've made some steps. But back in November and December, we were saying the same things. If we keep getting the chances, maybe we'll get the confidence to start putting some in."
Stat of the night
29 of 32 - Either Evgeni Malkin or Sidney Crosby has figured in on 29 of the Penguins' last 32 goals. Malkin had a goal and assist Wednesday.
Quote of the night
"Gags had a heck of a shift and scored a really big goal for us."
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette talking about Gagne. Um, is it really a good idea to nickname a player "Gags"? All kinds of badness associated with that. Maybe the second G is silent like in his normal name and it's Gas? Wait, that's still bad.
Thursday, Feb. 11 (7 games)
-Washington (41-12-7) at Ottawa (34-22-4), 7 p.m. ET. The Capitals try to start a new streak against the Senators, the second-hottest team in the NHL.
-San Jose (39-12-9) at Detroit (27-21-11), 7:30 p.m. The Sharks also look to rebound after a disappointing road loss, while desperation has to start sinking in soon for the Red Wings, who are still outside of the playoff picture looking in.