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Avs Split Season Series with Blue Jackets

Sunday, 01.20.2008 / 6:19 PM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to
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Avs Split Season Series with Blue Jackets
Post-Game Comments:
Jeff Finger
Jose Theodore
Notes & Quotes
Photo Gallery

The Colorado Avalanche used goals from three different players and a 26-save performance from Jose Theodore to earn a 3-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night at Pepsi Center.

With the victory, the Avs improved to 17-6-1 at home this season.

“Obviously a couple of our top dogs are out, three of them. It’s going to be huge for us to get contributions from everybody,” said Avalanche defenseman Jeff Finger. “We have been and Jose has been playing unbelievable. I think it all started there. Jose’s been playing great.”

Finger notched the lone goal of the first period on a blast from the high slot that got past Columbus netminder Pascal Leclaire at 17:56. Jaroslav Hlinka and Ian Laperriere were credited with assists on Finger’s fourth tally of the season.

The Avs took a 2-0 lead at the 7:40 mark of the middle frame on a Ben Guite goal. After catching a pass near the blue line, rookie David Jones split a pair of Columbus defensemen and put a shot on goal that was stopped by Leclaire before Guite knocked home the rebound.

Avs goaltender Jose Theodore kept Columbus off the scoreboard in the second period with a big save on Rick Nash at 13:02. Nash took a cross-ice feed and put a wrister on a seemingly open net, but Theodore slid across the crease and gloved the attempt during the waning seconds of a Columbus power play.

“It’s just one of those plays where I kind of just reacted,” Theodore said about his save on Nash. “I pushed as hard as I could. It’s the kind of goals he can make, so I was just trying to make a save.”

The Avalanche extended its lead to three goals at the 3:33 mark of the third period. Marek Svatos gained the offensive zone and fed Wojtek Wolski in the slot area. After Wolski faked a shot, he slipped a pass to Tyler Arnason, who put a shot past Leclaire.

Columbus scored its lone goal when Fredrik Modin converted on a Rick Nash pass only 40 seconds after Arnason’s tally.

An Even Split
Tonight marked the fourth and final meeting this season between the Avalanche and Blue Jackets. With the victory, Colorado improved to 23-3-1-1 in 28 all-time meetings against Columbus. The teams split their four contests against each other this season.

The New Magic Number?
Four was the lucky number for the Avs against Columbus. Finger, Guite and Arnason each notched their fourth goals of the season in the victory.

Strong Between the Pipes
Theodore made his eighth consecutive start on Sunday and improved his record to 5-2-1 with a 1.59 goals-against average and .941 save percentage during that span.

“Things are going well. The players are playing so well in front of me,” said Theodore, who is 4-0-1 in his last five starts. “Right now, we have to keep going and just think ‘defense’ like we are doing now and we’ll get our offense.”

Pointing the Finger
Finger’s goal was his second in three games and fourth point in his last five contests. After recording assists in back-to-back games against Carolina and Florida, Finger notched the eventual game-winning power-play goal in Colorado’s 3-0 win over Tampa Bay on Tuesday night. Finger’s 13 points (4g/9a) are tied for third among Colorado blue liners.

Getting in the Box Score
Jones, who was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters on Saturday, recorded an assist on Guite’s second-period tally for his first NHL point. He became the fourth Colorado player to record their first NHL point this season, joining T.J. Hensick, Jaroslav Hlinka and Cody McLeod.

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