The Columbus Blue Jackets finally found a way to win a one-goal game.
Artem Anisimov's power-play goal at 2:26 of overtime gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 win against the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
"We needed that win; [it's a] first step for us," Anisimov said. "If we're going to continue to play like that, we're going to be a dangerous club to play against."
Late on a power play with Colorado's PA Parenteau off for hooking 42 seconds into overtime, the Blue Jackets set up deep in the Avalanche zone. With R.J. Umberger screening goalie Semyon Varlamov, Anisimov fired a low wrist shot from the right faceoff circle that found the back of the net and snapped a four-game winless streak.
"I passed it twice … and [we] didn't score, and I just said, why am I not shooting?" Anisimov said. "Shoot the puck and score.
"I saw [Umberger] standing in front of the net, the goalie was more on my left side, trying to play back door or whatever ... [so] shoot to the short side."
The Blue Jackets had lost four in a row, each by one goal, the past two in overtime. They had lost seven times in eight games, all but one of those by one goal.
Blue Jackets forward Vinny Prospal scored the game-tying goal early in the third, and the Blue Jackets went beyond 60 minutes for the third straight time.
"I think we played a really good, solid, full game there," Umberger said. "It was probably one of our best games. The kind of feeling was we could stick with this and pull it out."
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves. Parenteau scored for the Avalanche, and goalie Semyon Varlamov stopped 32 of 34 shots.
Prospal's power-play goal at 4:04 of the third tied it 1-1.
The Blue Jackets already were on a power play with Patrick Bordeleau in the penalty box for holding when Matt Duchene was sent off for a hooking penalty. Columbus took advantage of the 5-on-3 when Prospal got a pass from Fedor Tyutin, skated into the right circle and fired a low shot that deflected off the stick of Avalanche forward Ryan O'Reilly and past Varlamov. It was Prospal's team-best eighth goal of the season.
"That changes the whole momentum of the game right there," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said of the power play. "We're on our way to maybe a 1-0 game, possibly a 2-0 game for us."
It was O'Reilly's season debut after the Avalanche matched an offer sheet tendered him by the Calgary Flames this week.
"I thought he played OK, he didn't generate much offense. I don't think anybody generated much offense on our team this afternoon," Sacco said of O'Reilly. "Again he was kind of just like everybody else, just average."
After a scoreless first period, Parenteau gave the Avalanche the lead with 7:35 left in the second. Taking a pass from Shane O'Brien just above the circles, he looped a high wrist shot on net that bounced off the shoulder of Bobrovsky and glanced off the crossbar. The goal was allowed to stand after a review showed Duchene did not tip the shot with a high stick.
A scoreless first period saw both teams have the chance to score the game's first goal. The Blue Jackets had a two-man advantage for 1:20 midway through the period after the Avalanche were whistled for too many men on the ice while killing off a penalty on Shane O'Brien. However, the Blue Jackets couldn’t get a shot on net, as first Duchene then Jan Hejda blocked shots.
The Avalanche had a power play earlier in the period when Tyutin was sent off for cross-checking, but managed one shot.
"I didn't think we were skating as well as we have been lately, we didn't have jump, we weren't on the forecheck hard this afternoon," Sacco said. "So you can't leave it in the referee's hands, we should have put it in our own hands."
Team media and wire services were used in this report