Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/28/11
Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson is still looking to acquire a goaltender via trade, but the need is no longer urgent.Not with goaltender Curtis Sanford playing the best hockey of his career.After playing well again in a 2-1 loss to St. Louis on Sunday, Sanford is 3-1-2 since taking over the Jackets' No. 1 job. He has stopped 158 of 167 shots (.946) and allowed two goals or fewer in six of his seven starts."I can't say I've ever felt like this before, not in the NHL," Sanford said. "It's a great feeling, to wait so long for a chance to prove you deserve a shot, to go through injuries and keep pushing. To get here and play well and get a chance again, it's been great."The Blue Jackets turned to Sanford in relief of Steve Mason, who has struggled since the 2008-09 season, when he was the NHL's rookie of the year.Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel has indicated that Stanford will be his go-to guy for the foreseeable future.But with three road games in a four-day stretch coming up starting Tuesday night in Vancouver, Arniel might opt to give Sanford a break in one of those games.NOTES, QUOTES--Former Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock returned to Columbus with his new club, the St. Louis Blues. It was the first meeting since the Blue Jackets -- for whom Hitchcock served as special adviser -- was allowed to join the Blues, one of the Jackets' Central Division rivals. It's not as if the rivalry needs any stoking. The two clubs have played some vicious games through the years.--The Blue Jackets' 29th-ranked penalty kill lived up to its billing Sunday. The Blues scored the game-winning goal, by David Backes, on the power play, snapping an 0-for-22 slump. The Blues came into the game with the league's 30th-ranked power play.QUOTE TO NOTE: "That was pretty much a chess match, a matter of who was going to blink first." -- Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis Sanford, after a 2-1 loss to St. Louis.ROSTER REPORTPLAYER NOTES--RW Derek Dorsett scored his third goal of the season on a breakaway in the second period Sunday. Dorsett was sprung from the neutral zone by a pass from linemate Sammy Pahlsson.--G Steve Mason is back after missing three games with what appeared to be a mild concussion, though the club won't confirm that. Mason was hurt last week when Jackets captain Rick Nash struck him in the mask with a shot he was not anticipating.--LW Vinny Prospal played his 1,000th game on Friday vs. Buffalo, but he's still looking for his 700th point. Prospal has been stuck at 699 for three games.MEDICAL WATCH:--LW Kristian Huselius (torn pectoral muscle) is out until late November.--G Mark Dekanich (groin) came up lame during warmups of a minor-league game on Nov. 11 and is out indefinitely.--D Radek Martinek (concussion) is out indefinitely.GOALTENDERS:--Curtis Sanford--Steve MasonDEFENSE PAIRINGS:--Fedor Tyutin, Nikita Nikitin--Marc Methot, James Wisniewski--John Moore, Grant ClitsomeFIRST LINE:--LW Vinny Prospal, C Jeff Carter, RW Rick NashSECOND LINE:--LW R.J. Umberger, C Mark Letestu, RW Ryan JohansenTHIRD LINE:--LW Antoine Vermette, C Sammy Pahlsson, RW Derek Dorsett FOURTH LINE:--LW Cody Bass, C Derek MacKenzie, RW Jared Boll
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