Avalanche 4, Blue Jackets 0

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

DENVER (AP) - Matt Duchene's offense helped put the Columbus Blue Jackets in a hole. Semyon Varlamov's goaltending kept them from climbing out.

Duchene scored two goals and set up another, Varlamov made 33 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat Columbus 4-0 on Thursday night.

"He was at his best tonight," Duchene said of Varlamov. "He was our best player. He's just solid. He gives us confidence. That was an outstanding effort by him."

Varlamov preserved his ninth career shutout and first of the season when he made a sprawling save on Nick Foligno's shot late in the second period. He followed that early in the third with a stop of Ryan Johansen's shot from in close by using his chest.

"You've got to give him credit," Johansen said. "He was sturdy and strong back there. It's frustrating for our guys to not be able get one past him."

Varlamov also got an assist from the Avalanche's penalty-killing unit, which shut down all six power plays by the Blue Jackets.

Since allowing two power-play goals in a season-opening loss at Minnesota last Saturday, the Avalanche have killed 16 consecutive power-play opportunities by the opposition.

"The guys did a great job for me," Varlamov said. "They blocked a lot of shots, so I can say thanks."

The shutout was his first at home for the Avalanche after compiling four in his first season with Colorado last year.

"It's huge for me and it's huge for the team," Varlamov said.

Playing their first game since learning they had lost Steve Downie to a season-ending knee injury in Tuesday's win over the Los Angeles Kings, the Avalanche got another scare when John Mitchell took a puck off his face in the first period and left the ice holding a towel to his bleeding nose.

Mitchell was tended to by medical staff, returned to the game in the second period with a gauze wrap stuffed up a nostril and scored his second goal of the season off a feed from Milan Hejduk at 4:38 of the third.

Duchene scored on a breakaway at 18:42 of the third. He also set up the Avalanche's opening score 51 seconds into the game with a cross-ice to P.A. Parenteau, who wristed a shot from the left circle past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.

It was the second goal in two games for Parenteau, who joined the Avalanche in the offseason as a free agent after playing for the New York Islanders last season.

Later in the first, Duchene scored his first goal of the season to put the Avalanche up 2-0. He put in a rebound after Bobrovsky blocked a shot by Hejduk but could not control the loose puck.

"Getting a couple of goals, you put them in a hole right away," Duchene said.

That wasn't how the Blue Jackets wanted to open the game.

"We have to have better starts," Johansen said. "It's tough to come back from deficits in this league. We've got to be more sharp to start games. We have to have our focus a little stronger and everybody has to be on the same page. If we do that we'll be successful. I'm not concerned, but we've got to keep working."

NOTES: After losing 5-1 in Phoenix on Wednesday, the Blue Jackets went 0-2 in the first of their 11 back-to-back sets this season. Columbus fell to 59-100-26 all-time in the second game of back-to-backs. ... It was the second time in two games that an Avalanche player was struck in the face by a puck. On Tuesday against the Kings, Duchene needed stitches to close a cut on his chin after being hit by a puck. ... It was Varlamov's second career shutout against the Blue Jackets. He also held them scoreless last season.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
00:51COL Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (2) ASST: Matt Duchene (2), Jan Hejda (2) 1 - 0 COL
12:25COL Matt Duchene (1) ASST: Chuck Kobasew (1), Milan Hejduk (2) 2 - 0 COL
2nd Period
3rd Period
04:38COL John Mitchell (2) ASST: Milan Hejduk (3), Ryan Wilson (2) 3 - 0 COL
18:42COL Matt Duchene (2) ASST: Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau (1) 4 - 0 COL
Three Stars of the Game
Semyon Varlamov
Semyon Varlamov
SA: 33TOI: 60:00
GA: 0EV: 23-23
PIM: 0PP: 9-9
SV%: 1.000SH: 1-1
Matt Duchene
Matt Duchene
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 18:50
Erik Johnson
Erik Johnson
G: 0Shots: 0
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 22:32
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:20COL Patrick Bordeleau  Fighting (maj) against  Jared Boll
02:20CBJ Jared Boll  Fighting (maj) against  Patrick Bordeleau
12:41COL Ryan Wilson  Holding against  Ryan Johansen
13:52CBJ Brandon Dubinsky  Cross checking against  Matt Hunwick
13:52CBJ Brandon Dubinsky  Unsportsmanlike conduct
14:07COL Jan Hejda  Interference on goalkeeper against  Sergei Bobrovsky
19:19COL Jamie McGinn  Fighting (maj) against  Brandon Dubinsky
19:19CBJ Brandon Dubinsky  Fighting (maj) against  Jamie McGinn
2nd Period
00:44COL Gabriel Landeskog  Roughing against  Derek Dorsett
00:44CBJ Derek Dorsett  Roughing against  Gabriel Landeskog
06:21CBJ Derek Dorsett  Roughing against  Gabriel Landeskog
08:40COL Mark Olver  Too many men/ice - bench
11:19COL Cody McLeod  Roughing against  Derek Dorsett
11:19COL Cody McLeod  Roughing against  Derek Dorsett
11:19CBJ Derek Dorsett  Roughing against  Cody McLeod
11:19CBJ Nick Foligno  Roughing against  Cody McLeod
15:36COL Gabriel Landeskog  Hooking against  Nick Foligno
18:34COL Jamie McGinn  Holding against  Derek MacKenzie
3rd Period
11:55CBJ Fedor Tyutin  Hooking against  Gabriel Landeskog
13:52COL Ryan Wilson  Holding against  Derek Dorsett
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/60/3
Faceoff Wins3136
Blocked Shots726
Penalty Minutes2428
4J. MooreD00-10012:37
6N. NikitinD00-15021:41
7J. JohnsonD00-22025:48
10M. LetestuC00-10012:58
11M. CalvertL00-31011:46
15D. DorsettR00-10615:48
16D. BrassardC00-11013:55
17B. DubinskyC0001916:44
18R. UmbergerC0003016:19
19R. JohansenC00-23016:43
21J. WisniewskiD00-24024:57
22V. ProspalL00-22018:03
24D. MacKenzieC00-1209:22
33A. AucoinD00-10014:20
40J. BollR000058:32
42A. AnisimovC00-13017:16
51F. TyutinD00-10220:34
71N. FolignoL0006212:37
72S. Bobrovsky2428.85760:00
3R. O'ByrneD0020019:34
4G. ZanonD0000017:25
6E. JohnsonD0020022:32
7J. MitchellC1011011:59
8J. HejdaD0110217:26
9M. DucheneC2134018:50
11J. McGinnL0010716:01
12C. KobasewR0124013:13
15P. ParenteauR1121016:47
22M. HunwickD0011021:24
23M. HejdukR0220011:43
26P. StastnyC0005021:43
40M. OlverC000108:17
44R. WilsonD0124417:59
54D. JonesR0003021:10
55C. McLeodL000149:56
58P. BordeleauL000153:08
92G. LandeskogL0012416:53
1S. Varlamov33331.00060:00