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Matt Duchene's goal lifts Avalanche past Blue Jackets

Colorado wins in overtime, denies Columbus of fifth straight victory

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Correspondent

COLUMBUS -- The Colorado Avalanche got leading goal-scorer Matt Duchene back after missing four games because of a concussion, and he came through with a goal at 1:49 of overtime in a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Monday.

Duchene converted a centering pass from Erik Johnson for his seventh goal of the season.

"That's what elite players do -- seize the moment and make big plays," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.

Duchene credited Johnson for the pass, but Johnson said he had the easy part.

"When you have good players like that and they're open, you just have to put it on their stick and they'll put it in," Johnson said.

Tyson Barrie and Johnson had goals and Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves for Colorado (9-9-0).

 

WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Blue Jackets highlights

 

Cam Atkinson scored twice and Curtis McElhinney made 24 saves for Columbus (10-4-3), which had won four in a row and had its record seven-game home winning streak end. Columbus had won its three previous overtime games during the streak.

But the Blue Jackets have lost both of McElhinney's starts in overtime.

Atkinson tied the score 2-2 with seven seconds left in regulation while McElhinney was pulled for an extra attacker. Zach Werenski sent a pass deep to Sam Gagner, who found Atkinson at the left dot for his seventh goal.

"We kept coming and coming," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "We got a point. That's a huge point for us. I don't have a lot of complaints."

After Atkinson scored at 9:00 of the first, Colorado got second-period goals from Barrie and Johnson for a 2-1 lead. Barrie scored his second of the season at 3:05 to make it 1-1.

Johnson put a shot from the right point through traffic at 9:00 to make it 2-1 for his first goal of the season.

The Blue Jackets had a power-play goal by Boone Jenner that would have tied it 2-2 disallowed with 3:37 left in the second when a challenge by Bednar that Scott Hartnell interfered with Varlamov was upheld.

 
Goal of the game

Duchene and Johnson had the perfect odd-man rush for the winning goal. Taking advantage of a 3-on-1, Johnson got McElhinney to commit to protecting the near post, then fed the puck across the ice to Duchene.

Video: COL@CBJ: Duchene knocks in game-winning goal in OT

 
Save of the game

Varlamov had to stare down a Werenski wrist shot in the high slot in overtime and made the save. Werenski scored an overtime goal against the Anaheim Ducks on a similar play on Nov. 9.

 
Unsung moment of the game

The overturned Columbus goal that would have tied the score 2-2 took some energy out of the Blue Jackets and helped Colorado keep the lead after two periods.

 
Highlight of the game

Atkinson tied the score because the Blue Jackets, with the extra attacker, moved the puck quickly enough for a clear shot at goal that, unfortunately for Colorado, hit a stick on the way in.

Video: COL@CBJ: Atkinson nets rebound off two redirections

 
They said it

"We didn't play our best game, but we found a way to come up with a big period, the second period." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

"I wanted to make sure there was nothing going short-side and hopefully you'll (get) a little coverage backside. If need be, it comes down to me making a big save too. I'll answer for that." -- Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis McElhinney on the overtime goal

 

"We had some pretty good players on the ice who are capable of making plays. We didn't rush anything. That's the most important thing." -- Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson on the tying goal

 
Need to know

Avalanche defenseman Fedor Tyutin was recognized during the first period for his time with Columbus from 2008-16. He is second on the Blue Jackets' all-time games played list with 553, trailing Rick Nash's 674. He was in the starting lineup. … Bednar was the head coach of the Blue Jackets' American Hockey League affiliate last season when the Lake Erie (Cleveland) Monsters won the Calder Cup. … Columbus defenseman Seth Jones was out six games because of a hairline fracture on his right foot but returned to the lineup Monday. He played 23:48.

 
What's next

Avalanche: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; ALT2, SNW, NHL.TV)

Blue Jackets: Host the Calgary Flames on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, SNW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Duchene scores in OT, sends Avs past Jackets, 3-2

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