Jenner, Bobrovsky propel Blue Jackets to 3-2 win over Avs
Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, of Russia, struggles to stop a shot against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
DENVER (AP) Boone Jenner made sure that credit went where credit should for his winning goal.
To Brandon Dubinsky for setting up the play. To Cam Atkinson for that on-the-money, no-look pass.
''A heck of a play by them,'' Jenner said.
Jenner knocked in the winner with 11:03 remaining, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 18 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the slumping Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday night.
''Really happy for Boone to pop one,'' Dubinsky said. ''He's been knocking on the door.''
It was Jenner's first goal since Nov. 18 and No. 3 on the season. He couldn't have picked a more opportune time, after the Blue Jackets squandered a 2-0 lead following first-period goals by Brandon Saad and Nick Foligno.
Blake Comeau scored in the second period and Samuel Henley followed with his first NHL goal as the Avalanche rallied. Comeau nearly tied the game with 2:09 remaining when he tipped in a shot. But the officials reviewed the play and waved off the goal after ruling he knocked it in with a high stick.
Comeau was a little surprised the goal was overturned.
''They said it was a goal on the ice,'' Comeau said. ''It's disappointing.''
Clearly, the right call, insisted Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella.
''It was way over. His stick was over the crossbar,'' he said.
The Avalanche pulled Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater with about two minutes left, but couldn't get anything past Bobrovsky and dropped to 0-3-1 on their current homestand.
''We were sloppy early,'' Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. ''I didn't think our `D' moved the puck very well as a group. … Varly kept us in it.''
With the game tied at 2 early in the third period, the Blue Jackets had a golden opportunity when they drew back-to-back-to-back penalties. They had 30 seconds with a two-man advantage – and couldn't score. And then later 10 more seconds of 5-on-3, but couldn't score again as Varlamov helped the Avalanche withstand all the penalty minutes.
The power-play struggles didn't come back to haunt the Blue Jackets. They wouldn't let it.
''We didn't lose any momentum. We just said, `OK, let's clear the boards here. We didn't get things done here. Let's just keep on playing,''' Tortorella said.
Colorado knotted the game in the second period on goals from Comeau and Henley, who was recently brought up from San Antonio of the American Hockey League to provide an offensive spark.
He did just that. With his first NHL shot on goal, too.
Henley turned and fired near the blue line, with a screened Bobrovsky never really reacting to the puck. Henley, who signed with Colorado as a free agent on May 5, 2014, had some of his family in the stands for his debut.
''This is bittersweet,'' Henley said. ''It would have been nice to score and win. It's too bad we didn't win it.''
Saad scored at 4:56 of the first period to stake Columbus to an early lead. It was his third goal in four games.
Later in the first, Foligno was credited with a goal on a 3-on-1 break when his tip of a pass appeared to deflect off the stick of Colorado defenseman Fedor Tyutin and past Varlamov.
With captain Gabriel Landeskog going on injured reserve Wednesday, Bednar promoted Gabriel Bourque and Henley. He was hoping they could get a struggling team to play with more vigor.
''There's a certain amount of passion you need in order to win hockey games. We have the ability to recall a couple of guys to help give us that passion,'' Bednar said.
NOTES: Columbus is two wins away from No. 500 in club history. … Bobrovsky and Varlamov were teammates for Russia at the World Cup of Hockey in September. … The Blue Jackets finished last month with a 9-2-3 mark. The 21 points were the most for November in club history. … Avalanche F John Mitchell appeared in his 500th NHL game.
Blue Jackets: At Arizona on Saturday.
Avalanche: Wrap up a five-game homestand Saturday against Dallas.