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game recap

Boone Jenner steers Blue Jackets past Avalanche

Scores in third period to end tie; Colorado has goal nullified with 2:09 to play

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Brandon Saad had a goal and an assist to help the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Thursday. 

"I think one of the strengths of our team right now as we talked to our group is taking it one game at a time," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "Whatever day it is, let's try to be the best we can be. A lot of crazy things are going to happen during the year, as far as winning and losing. As long as we show up for work every day and try to be the best we can be, hopefully it will force good things to us."

The Blue Jackets (13-5-4) have gone 5-2-3 on the road and are 7-1-2 in their past 10 games. The Avalanche (9-12-1) continue to struggle at home, where they are 4-7-1. They're 0-3-1 with one game remaining in a five-game homestand.

Boone Jenner scored at 8:57 of the third period to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 lead. The Avalanche turned the puck over in front of their net, Cam Atkinson gained possession and fed Jenner for a shot past goalie Semyon Varlamov for his third goal. 

Video: CBJ@COL: Jenner buries Atkinson's pinpoint pass

"It's nice to get one and get going," said Jenner, who went six games without a point. "Cam's buzzing around there and we were able to get the turnover. The play by Cam to throw it back in front to me, it was a heck of a play."

Avalanche forward Blake Comeau knocked in John Mitchell's shot with 2:09 to play, but the goal was nullified when it was determined through video review that he used a high stick.

 

WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Avalanche highlights

 

"I felt it was pretty high because I was in a high stance and reaching," said Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who made 18 saves for his 13th win. "I felt it was no goal. Obviously I was a little nervous."

Said Comeau: "They called it a goal on the ice and I felt my stick was right at my shoulders, so it was pretty close. They obviously saw enough to call it a high stick. It's disappointing, frustrating."

The Avalanche tied the game 2-2 in the second period on Comeau's power-play goal and one by Sam Henley, who made his NHL debut after being called up Wednesday from San Antonio of the American Hockey League. 

Comeau converted a rebound at 10:38 and Henley scored at 14:25 on a screen shot.

"It's nice that we battled back, but we gave up (37) shots," Comeau said. "We can't count on (Varlamov) to stand on his head every night. It's just poor puck management, turnovers through the neutral zone, sloppy defensively. We made it 2-2 and we have to find a way to come out of it with a win."

The Blue Jackets took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Saad and Nick Foligno. 

Saad scored from the slot on a rebound at 4:56 for his seventh goal after Jack Johnson shot from just inside the blue line. The goal came 13 seconds after a Blue Jackets power play expired. Foligno scored his ninth goal at 16:15 to complete a 3-on-1 rush.

Video: CBJ@COL: Saad lights the lamp off a rebound

 

Goal of the game

Henley scored on his only shot. Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie intercepted Bobrovsky's clearing attempt around the boards and passed to Henley above the right circle for a shot through traffic. "I got a goal but we still lost the game so it's not the same feeling," Henley said. "I'm glad the first game is over with, but I'm just disappointed we didn't win that game."

Video: CBJ@COL: Henley ties the game with his first NHL goal

 

Saves of the game

Varlamov made three difficult first-period saves. He stopped Foligno on the doorstep off a goalmouth pass from Atkinson at 4:00; gloved William Karlsson's shot from the high slot at 11:27; and stopped Josh Anderson at 15:23 after a Colorado turnover.

Video: CBJ@COL: Varlamov blocks the shot, freezes play

 

Highlight of the game

Foligno scored to complete a 3-on-1 rush with Saad and Seth Jones.

Video: CBJ@COL: Foligno scores on tic-tac-toe passing play

 

Unsung moment of the game

The Avalanche killed two Blue Jackets 5-on-3's in the third period when they had 5:21 of consecutive power-play time.

 

They said it

"It wasn't always pretty, but we found a way. You're not going to score six or seven goals every night, or five or six. You're going to have to win some gritty games." -- Blue Jackets forward Brandon Dubinsky

 

"Good for the kid to come up for his first game, keep it simple, get some pucks in front of the net and get himself his first NHL goal." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar on forward Sam Henley   

 

Need to know

Bobrovsky has allowed two goals or fewer in 11 of his past 14 games. ... Avalanche forwards Matt Duchene and John Mitchell won a combined 24 of 29 faceoffs ... Colorado was in a 1-for-20 rut on power plays before Comeau's goal.

 

What's next

Blue Jackets: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-A PLUS, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-SW+, NHL.TV)

Video: Bobrovsky helps power Blue Jackets to 3-2 victory

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