Avalanche Snaps Four-Game Skid, Blanks Columbus 3-0
Thursday, 11.16.2006 / 10:00 PM MT / News
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Peter Budaj notched the Avalanche's first shutout of the season and Colorado ended a four-game losing streak with a 3-0 victory over Columbus on Friday.
Paul Stastny, Ossi Vaananen and Marek Svatos scored for Colorado and Joe Sakic had an assist to tie Stan Mikita for 14th on the all-time list with 926.
The Blue Jackets, who have been shutout in five of their 17 games, have lost four straight and 11 of 14.
The game was the second for Columbus interim coach Gary Agnew, who replaced Gerard Gallant after Gallant was fired Monday because of the team's slow start. Agnew lost his debut Wednesday against Nashville.
Stastny opened the scoring with his fourth at 7:29 of the first period on a Colorado power play. Goaltender Fredrik Norrena stopped Milan Hejduk's point-blank shot, but Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla threw the rebound into the slot to Stastny, who scored with a snap shot. The goal was the first in the Avalanche's last 20 man-advantage chances.
Colorado scored twice in the second period, capitalizing on more defensive miscues by the Blue Jackets.
At the midway mark of the period, Klesla lost the puck to Sakic as he exited the zone. Sakic then fed Andrew Brunette, who slotted a centering pass from the right boards to an open Vannanen. He then scored his first of the season in 18 games with a low shot from the high slot.
Later in the period, Klesla couldn't corral the puck with the Avalanche pressuring. Tyler Arnason zipped a pass to Svatos, who beat Norrena from the left circle at 18:28. Svatos has seven goals in seven games against the Blue Jackets.
Notes: Colorado, which lost each game in its four-game skid by one goal, had not lost four consecutive regulation games since the 1998-1999 season ... Colorado has outscored the Blue Jackets 90-29 in 22 meetings. ... Columbus, 0-for-17 the last three games on the power play, has only scored first in four games. ... The Avalanche entered having taken the second-fewest penalties in the league.