Two Big Points
Mason outduels Rinne as the Jackets earn an important victory against Nashville, a team looking up at Columbus in the playoff race. After two weekend losses to the Blues, this game presented Civil War buff Hitchcock with the task to rally the troops and get refocused. Raffi Torres scored the game-winner at 4:05 of the third period and Mason made it stand up. Definitely a playoff atmosphere at Nationwide Arena, the crowd saw both teams put on a show of hard-hitting hockey. Mason played up to the publicity and made some crucial saves in the third period. The teams meet again on Saturday in Nashville.
The win gives Columbus 88 points and leaves them in the sixth seed slot. St. Louis sits in ninth and has 83 points with a game in hand. A win in Nashville should sew up a playoff spot for the Blue Jackets.