Avalanche top Blue Jackets 3-2 in OT
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gabriel Landeskog scored twice, including a power-play goal at 4:27 of overtime to help the Colorado Avalanche extend their winning streak to four with a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night.
Rookie scoring leader Nathan MacKinnon, centering the top line with Matt Duchene expected to miss a month with a knee injury, assisted on both of Landeskog’s scores.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 shots — including a prime chance by Blake Comeau late in regulation to pick up his league-leading 38th win.
With 102 points, Colorado moved three ahead of Chicago for second place in the Central Division.
Cam Atkinson and Comeau scored in the second period for Columbus, which is hanging on to the second wild-card spot and eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.
All three Colorado goals caromed off Columbus players with Landeskog’s winner and 26th of the season — extending his career high — banking off defenseman Jack Johnson and behind Sergei Bobrovsky, who returned after missing nearly three games with the flu and finished with 25 saves.
Trailing 2-0 after two periods, Brad Malone and Landeskog scored 5:17 apart in the third period to draw Colorado even.
Malone made it 2-1 at 9:46 of the second with his second of the season on a seemingly innocent play. He threw the puck from deep in the left corner that hit Nick Foligno near the crease and went into the net.
Then Landeskog redirected a feed from smooth-skating MacKinnon for his 25th that deflected off the Blue Jackets’ Dalton Prout.
Early in the second period, Ryan Johansen clanged a shot off the post.
It was a turnover by defenseman Nate Guenin behind his net that got Varlamov leaning the wrong way. Brandon Dubinsky sent a centering pass to Atkinson, who scored his 20th at 10:52.
Colorado counterattacked after each goal, but Bobrovsky stopped MacKinnon from in tight. He later stretched to make a nice toe save on a hard Paul Stastny shot with the Avalanche revving up the pressure in the Blue Jackets’ zone.
Then later in the period on a quirky play, the Blue Jackets made it 2-0. A bouncing puck on a long clear by Fedor Tyutin hopped past two Colorado defensemen and was finally settled by Comeau.
He worked a high-speed give and go in little space with Foligno to tuck home his fourth and first since Dec. 19.
Notes: The overtime power play was the only one for the Avalanche in the game. … Columbus played its first of eight games in 12 days to close out the regular season. … Blue Jackets big off-season signing RW Nathan Horton, who has mostly struggled since returning from shoulder surgery in January, missed the game with lower-body injury. Columbus LW R.J. Umberger, who has 18 goals and 33 points, was scratched for the fourth time in seven games. … Blue Jackets C Derek MacKenzie played in his 300th career game.