DENVER (AP) - David Aebischer made 24 saves for his third shutout of the season and Brett Clark scored the lone goal in the Colorado Avalanche's 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Aebischer made several spectacular saves to improve to 7-0-0 against the Blue Jackets. He has allowed six goals in seven career starts against Columbus.
Columbus goalie Pascal Leclaire was nearly as impressive, stopping 39 shots. The Blue Jackets were 0-for-6 on the power play.
The Blue Jackets have beaten Colorado once in 20 games and that came in overtime.
Colorado had some chances to put the game away in the third period. Joe Sakic and Andrew Brunette had Leclaire down on the ice, but each time the Columbus goalie was up to the task. He swatted away Brunette's backhander at 11:35 of the period.
The Avalanche killed a 22-second two-man advantage for Columbus in the last 5:39 of the period.
While being outshot 12-5, Columbus frustrated the Avalanche with its trap in the first period.
John-Michael Liles hit the left post a minute into the second period, but Columbus' defense and penalty-killing unit continued to frustrate the Avalanche through most of the period. It wasn't until Colorado's third power play of the period that the Blue Jackets finally broke down.
Clark tapped a shot over Leclaire's right shoulder at 15:51 after receiving Brunette's pass from the right corner. Rick Nash was serving a hooking minor at the time.
Columbus had a chance to tie it with 1:45 left when Aebischer stopped Radoslav's slap shot from the upper left circle. The puck bounced back to David Vyborny alone in front of the Colorado crease. Aebischer stretched out at the last second to deny a goal with his left skate.
Colorado swept the season series against the Blue Jackets, winning all four meetings... The Avs improve to 18-0-0-1 all-time against Columbus, including a perfect 10-0-0 mark at home... David Aebischer notched his third shutout of the season and second against the Blue Jackets... He also shut them out back on Nov. 25 at Nationwide Arena (5-0)... Aebischer is now 7-0 in seven career starts against the Blue Jackets, allowing just six goals total in the seven games... The Avalanche scored its 74th power-play goal of the season tonight, matching its total from the entire 2003-04 season.
Andrew Brunette: On Clark's Goal... "We made an adjustment or two and they were a little aggressive, so we thought we would catch them off guard. Clark snuck down there and snuck one past them." General... "Perseverance paid off. (David Aebischer) has been playing great, so if we can get one (we could win). I felt like we'd have more than one. (Pascal) Leclaire also made some great saves. The two times he's come in here, he's played unbelievable."
David Aebischer: "It always feels good, especially if it's a 1-0 game. I had a couple of tough saves but other than that, I think they played really well in front of me and we didn't give them much. Since January 1st, I've been playing much better and our record shows that." On Whether He Has A Special Place In His Heart To Play Columbus..."It was my first NHL win (against them), that's about the only thing. 7-0 is not too bad. It was a little less work this time than the last shutout I had against them. They're always a team who has a couple of good players in front where you have to watch out who can put the puck in the net."
Brett Clark: "These games earlier in the year, we wouldn't have won them. But tonight, that one goal is all we needed. We played solid. The sweep (in a season series) is tough to do. They have a very skilled team. We gave them a couple of chances. David played well for us and kept us in there when he had to. Our power-play got one for us and that was a big game for us to win."
Adam Foote: On Leaving Colorado... "We didn't know which way we were going in the summer but we were prepared. My family and I talked about it a lot. Going to a team that has so many high expectations and a lot of pressure, we had such a rough start. But we have a great dressing room, a great bunch of young guys that want to learn and want to play. We play hard every night. Over the last 15 or 20 games, we've been getting better and better." On Always Being A Member of the Avalanche... "I remember hearing Ray Bourque say he will always be a part of Boston. I didn't feel like I was an Avalanche for those 60 minutes (tonight), that's for sure. The memories I have here are definitely will be something. My kids were born here. There were a lot of memories when I was driving back from the airport so it was good, it was fun."
Head Coach Gerard Gallant: "Overall, I think it was pretty good. I thought it was a pretty good hockey game at times. I was just disappointed that we couldn't score. We had a couple of great chances. But overall our first game back and we had a chance to win all night. Colorado played pretty well and I thought it was a pretty even game. Pascal (Leclaire) made three or four great saves. That one on Sakic that kept it at 1-0. He kept us in and gave us a chance to get some points tonight but we couldn't score."