Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason stayed later than usual at Nationwide Arena on Tuesday, but he wasn't basking in the glory of his first victory in more than a month. He was taking two liters of IV fluids to deal with intense cramping in his right quadriceps.

It worked wonders.

Mason had a bounce in his step yesterday, even as he vowed to keep both feet on the ground.

"I'm good," Mason said. "It was a nice to go to bed with a good feeling, finally. But I just kept telling myself, 'This is a process. It's only one game. I just need to be ready for the next start.'?"

Mason spent 12 straight games on the bench, including two because of concussion-like symptoms, before a 2-1 shootout victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night. In the meantime, Curtis Sanford took over in net, and the Blue Jackets' play began to steady after a horrible start to the season.

"I felt like we've made a lot of improvement before my last couple of games," Mason said. "Then (Sanford) went in and they kept it rolling. Curtis really sparked the team and played great. The team can't focus on who's in net, they just have to play well.

"Myself and (Sanford) expect that from them, and they expect us to play well, too."