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Huselius leads Jackets into playoff spot as Columbus win 4-3 over Avs

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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Kristian Huselius had a goal and two assists and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat Colorado 4-3 on Tuesday night for their third straight win.

R.J. Umberger had a goal and assist, rookie Jakub Voracek and Michael Peca also scored for the Blue Jackets, which have won seven of nine.

Chris Stewart had a goal and assist, and Marek Svatos and Ryan Smyth tallied for Colorado, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Brett Clark added two assists.

Tied 1-all after two periods, the teams combined for five goals in 3:41 in the third with Columbus taking a 4-2 lead on Peca's wrist shot from the slot for his fourth at 9:11. Smyth pulled Colorado to 4-3 with a power-play score from close range at 10:27 with his 15th.

Columbus rookie goalie Steve Mason had 23 saves to improve to 16-9-1, while Andrew Raycroft (9-2) also stopped 23 and had his seven-game winning streak end.

The Blue Jackets have won all three meeting between the clubs.

Umberger one-timed a centring pass from defenceman Kris Russell over Raycroft for his 13th on a power play at 6:46 of the third period to make it 2-1.

Stewart responded just under a minute later with a long shot from the right circle that hit Mason's glove and caromed into the net for his fourth.

Huselius scored his 13th at 8:41 to make it 3-2 after working a give and go with Manny Malhotra out of the right corner and scoring with a low shot through traffic in the slot, and Peca scored 30 seconds later.

Svatos stuffed home a loose puck near the crease at 17:15 of the first period for his seventh to start the scoring.

Columbus pulled even at 18:11 of the second period on a hectic play that Voracek finished at 18:11 for his sixth. After a Huselius rush, Voracek threw his own rebound into the crease and Raycroft pushed the puck into his own net while scurrying back into position.

Notes: After going 1-19-2 in the first 25 meetings between the clubs, the Blue Jackets have gone 6-3 in the past nine contests. ...The Avalanche had five regulars out of the lineup, including C Joe Sakic. Columbus was missing seven regulars led by LW Rick Nash, their leading scorer. ...The Blue Jackets have won eight of nine at home.

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