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Columbus Blue Jackets' Dan LaCosta earns shutout in 2nd start @NHLdotcom

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Dan LaCosta made 31 saves - including a toe stop on Marek Svatos with seconds remaining - for his first career shutout in his second NHL start as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Tuesday night.

LaCosta, who won his first start Saturday, a 3-2 overtime decision over Western-Conference leading San Jose, played again because rookie Steve Mason is out due to mononucleosis. Regular backup Wade Dubielewicz has the flu.

Mason might return Friday against Detroit.

Andrew Murray, Jason Williams and Fredrik Modin scored third-period goals and Jan Hejda added two assists for Columbus, which swept the season series (4-0) from the Avalanche for the first time.

LaCosta, a third round pick in 2004, was an emergency recall on Friday.

Peter Budaj made 27 stops in the fourth straight road loss for the Avalanche, who have dropped six of eight overall.

Columbus capitalized on a bad breakout sequence by the Avalanche and took a 1-0 lead 2:29 into the third period. Raffi Torres found Murray cutting to the net, and he beat Budaj inside the near post for his sixth.

Jason Williams, skating in on a 3-on-1 rush after defenceman John-Michael Liles missed a check at centre ice, sneaked a shot from the right dot between Budaj's pads for his 11th and a 2-0 Blue Jackets lead at 9:43.

Modin redirected a point shot by Hejda 2:33 later to make it 3-0. The goal was Modin's ninth and first in 14 games.

The game was sloppy for the first two periods with turnovers, missed passes and virtually no flow.

Columbus had a 16-4 shots advantage in the first period but Budaj held his ground, including kicking aside hard drives by Jakub Voracek and R.J. Umberger.

The Blue Jackets' Andrew Murray did get a puck by Budaj late in the period, but it was disallowed because he batted it in with his hand.

On an Avalanche power play early in the second, after Rick Nash nearly scored short-handed on a rush with Michael Peca, LaCosta stopped Ryan Smyth's slap shot from the right circle with the rebound bouncing to Milan Hejduk near the left circle. Hejduk fired a quick shot, but LaCosta slid across the crease to make the save.

Notes: The Blue Jackets are 12-7-1 in their past 20 games and 12-4 in their last 16 home games. ... It was the first in a stretch of nine of 11 on the road for Colorado. ... Columbus improved to 8-22-2 against the Avalanche. The Blue Jackets have won six of seven.

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