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Post Game: Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 3

Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 10:45 PM ET / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer)
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Post Game: Avalanche 5, Blue Jackets 3



The Blue Jackets ran into penalty trouble on Sunday night against Pittsburgh and took the loss despite a strong effort at even strength. On New Year's Eve in Denver, there was a familiar script to the proceedings.

Columbus led twice - on an early goal by Ryan Johansen and a second period tally from Boone Jenner after a terrific shift in the Avalanche zone - but it quickly evaporated. Colorado scored two goals late in the middle frame and took a 3-2 lead into the third period, and they've been pretty darn good when they do that (especially at home). The Blue Jackets could only close to 4-3, eventually dropping their second straight game by a 5-3 final.

And though it wasn't the entire story, the Blue Jackets' penalty killing did them no favors at Pepsi Center.

The Avalanche went 3-for-3 on the power play and at times, made it look easy against a Columbus penalty killing unit that yielded three goals against on Sunday, as well. Special teams have not been kind to the Blue Jackets of late and it has to be an item of concern for Todd Richards and his coaching staff as the team heads to Phoenix.

As Richards said post-game, the Blue Jackets have to be aware of stick infractions: hooking, slashing, tripping...those calls have made up the majority of their shorthanded time. Also of note: Jack Skille left this game early due to an upper body injury and did not return. 

Colorado's two-goal burst late in the second period changed the game around. Jamie McGinn tied things up 2-2 less than four minutes after Jenner gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead, and then Ryan O'Reilly followed with a power play tally at 14:42 of the second to give the Avalanche its first lead of the night. 

Duchene set up Colorado's tying goal and the go-ahead goal in a span of 2:38 late in the second period.  

He scored his 11th goal of the season in the third period and made a great play to set up Johansen's game-opening goal. Foligno's hot streak continues, as he's up to six points (two goals, four assists) in the last seven games.

Varlamov did not have to be great tonight but he made 35 saves in total, and was particularly strong in the second period in keeping the Avalanche ahead after 40 minutes.


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