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In 2003–04, Chris Mason joined the Predators full-time as the backup to starter Vokoun. In 17 appearances that season, Mason finished with a 4–4–1 record, with a 2.18 GAA and .926 save percentage.
During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, Mason played for Vålerenga Ishockey in the Norwegian league with fellow Predator Scott Hartnell. Being hailed as the best goalie in the league ever, he played a big part in Vålerenga securing their 25th league championship and their 24th Norwegian Championship by winning the playoffs.
On April 15, 2006, when he was starting because starting goaltender Vokoun was lost for the year with a blood condition, Mason was credited for a goal when Phoenix Coyotes forward Geoff Sanderson shot the puck into his own net. Mason became the ninth NHL goaltender to score a goal and joined Damian Rhodes as the only goalies to be credited with a goal in both the AHL and the NHL.
In response, Mason said, "It was a cheesy goal. Someone else should have received it."
In the off-season of 2007, Vokoun was traded to the Florida Panthers for a few draft picks, leaving Mason as the starter for Nashville, alone with backup goaltender Dan Ellis. Mason quickly won the first two games, the collective scores of which were 9–1 in favor of the Predators, but then dropped a startling seven straight games. Dan Ellis, however, was able to step up for the Predators and win four straight. Mason returned to play against the Detroit Red Wings in a 43-save loss. The loss was no surprise, but Mason did show that he could effectively remain the Nashville starter, and continued to start for the remainder of his time with the Predators.
January 29th, 2013
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