Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/12/11
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Rookie Ryan Johansen, a healthy scratch in the previous game, had his first two-goal effort, and Steve Mason made with 35 saves to help the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets end a three-game losing skid with a 2-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night. The Jets have lost five straight (0-3-2). Johansen has scored the winning goal in all three of Columbus' victories. Mason, near the bottom among NHL goalies with a 3.88 goals-against average, was solid all night. He made many of his best saves in the third period as the Jets turned up the pressure. Mark Stuart scored a short-handed goal for the Jets, ending Mason's shutout bid with 3:45 left. The 19-year-old Johansen, the fourth pick in the 2010 draft, was touch-and-go to even stick with the Blue Jackets. Columbus deliberated sending him back to juniors after nine games to avoid triggering his entry-level contract. But general manager Scott Howson kept him because of his strong start and the much-needed offense he has provided to the Blue Jackets. It was a new start of sorts for the Blue Jackets. It marked the first time this season that captain Rick Nash and their two big offseason acquisitions -- center Jeff Carter and defenseman James Wisniewski -- played in the same game. Wisniewski was suspended for the first eight games because of a head shot in a preseason game. Carter played the first five games before missing the next eight with a broken bone in his foot. Spurred by the line of Johansen, Vinny Prospal and Mark Letestu, the Blue Jackets -- for only the second time all season -- led after a period. Just 53 seconds in, Johansen carried the puck to the top of the right circle and unleashed a big slap shot that rocketed past Ondrej Pavelec high on the stick side. Johansen had been a curious choice to be scratched in the Blue Jackets' 6-3 loss to Chicago on Thursday. Both teams were booed in their previous outings, the Jets hearing it from their fans during a 5-2 loss to Florida on Thursday. Prospal's hard work to win a loose puck led to the Blue Jackets 2-0 lead. He beat Dustin Byfuglien to the puck near the left corner and centered a pass just before being knocked to the ice by the defenseman. Johansen was parked in the slot and jammed the puck past Stuart and Pavelec. During pregame introductions, Mason heard a mix of cheers and boos because of his erratic play in the Blue Jackets' NHL-worst 2-12-1 start. But he was strong throughout, making a big stop against Bryan Little late in the first period on a Winnipeg power play and blocking prime scoring chances by Blake Wheeler and Nik Antropov in the second. After Stuart converted a cross-ice feed from Byfuglien near the end, Mason made several more big stops -- including gloving a long desperation shot at the final buzzer. NOTES: In addition to activating Carter, the Blue Jackets placed backup G Curtis Sanford (groin) on the injured list... The Jets were 0 for 5 with the man advantage against the Blue Jackets, who are last in the NHL in penalty-killing (71.2 percent)... D Nikita Nikitin, acquired in a trade with St. Louis on Friday for D Kris Russell, earned a point on Johansen's second goal.
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