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Garon posts second straight shutout, Blue Jackets top Thrashers

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Associated Press
11/4/2010 11:39:31 PM
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ATLANTA -- Mathieu Garon might eventually lose in Atlanta. Until then, though, he's happy to keep beating the Thrashers at their place.

Garon stopped 25 shots for his second straight shutout and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat Atlanta 3-0 Thursday night before the smallest home crowd in Thrashers franchise history.

Garon improved to 5-0 against the Thrashers. He is 4-0 with three shutouts at Philips Arena.

"I don't know what it is about this building," Garon said. "There's always teams that for some reason -- I'm not saying it's easier -- you have more wins against."

Garon, coming off a 3-0 shutout of Montreal on Tuesday, started in consecutive games for the first time this season. He entered the game second in the league with his 1.15 goals-against average and has earned a greater share of starter Steve Mason's time in the net.

After beating Montreal, Garon said he was "maybe a little lucky." It was a more difficult to attribute a second straight shutout to good fortune.

"We didn't give them many chances," Garon said. "Our guys were blocking shots."

Columbus coach Scott Arniel said Garon "made some shots but wasn't overly worked."

"We did a great job in front of him eliminating any quality chances and there weren't many penalties," Arniel said. "That allowed us to roll four lines and six defencemen."

The teams combined for only three penalties, including two by Columbus.

Derick Brassard scored for the fifth time in six games, on a snap shot 4:46 into the second period.

Brassard, who had only nine goals in 79 games last season, also had an assist when Marc Methot scored midway through the third period for a 2-0 lead. R.J. Umberger added an empty-netter.

Attendance was 8,461, Atlanta's second record low in a span of 15 days. The team drew 8,820 against Buffalo on Oct. 20.

The Thrashers began the night second in the league with 40 goals before being shut out for the first time this season. They showed the effects of their second game in as many nights following a 4-3 win at Florida on Wednesday night.

"We looked tired," Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay said.

"Individually, we're not winning enough battles. As a team you have to win battles, but it's up to each individual to start the process. We have to have everybody involved in scoring goals."

Atlanta managed only 23 shots in the win at Florida and again struggled to create scoring opportunities.

"I thought our effort was a little better, but (Garon) played well and we didn't have a tremendous amount of chances," Atlanta's Rich Peverley said. "We need to get some more chances and move the puck a little more quickly."

The Blue Jackets, who failed to reach the playoffs last season after the first appearance in franchise history, won for the fifth time in their last six games.

"We didn't start the season together, but things are going really well for us now," Brassard said. "My game is going way better. ... The last four or five games, I've been trying to shoot more."

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 39 shots in his second start since fainting and sustaining a concussion early in the Thrashers' 4-2 season-opening win over Washington on Oct. 8.

Notes: The teams will not meet again this season. ... The Blue Jackets have won five straight in the series, including three straight at Philips Arena. Columbus leads the series 8-5-0. ... Atlanta F Bryan Little missed his third straight game with a concussion. ... The Thrashers did not have a penalty in the first two periods and had only one penalty all game, a tripping call against Dustin Byfuglien.

Mathieu Garon  (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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