Colorado 5, Columbus 1
Click here to see a photo gallery from Saturday's game
DENVER (AP) -- Joe Sakic got his 15th career hat trick and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 on Saturday night.
The 38-year-old team captain scored twice in the third period, helping the Avalanche pull away. He scored a power-play goal 1:21 into the final frame, and then added his fourth goal of the season with 9:22 left when he beat Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire with a shot from the right circle.Milan Hejduk
had two goals and an assist, and Peter Budaj
had 24 saves for Colorado.
Sakic gave the Avalanche the early lead at the 6:07 mark of the opening period. Andrew Brunette, with a defenseman draped on him, skated around the Columbus net and put a shot on goal. The puck deflected off of Sakic and past Leclaire.
Rostislav Klesla tied the game with a shot from just inside the blue line that handcuffed Budaj at the 1:24 mark of the second period.
Colorado broke open a 1-1 game early in the second period. Hejduk one-timed a pass from Ryan Smyth in front of the Blue Jackets net that Leclaire stopped. But Hejduk got his own rebound and beat Leclaire high to make it 2-1.
Minutes later, Hejduk took a shot from the right circle to make it 3-1.
Columbus forward Rick Nash nearly tied the game late in the first period, but he couldn't get control of the puck with an open left side of the net in front of him. Once he did corral the puck, his shot went off Budaj's helmet.
Late in the second period, Budaj got his right pad to the post just as Blue Jackets winger David Vyborny tried to stuff the puck in the net.
Both teams killed off 5-on-3 power plays in the first period.
Notes: Columbus had killed off 19 straight penalties before Hejduk's power-play goal in the second period. It was the 11th-longest such streak in franchise history. ... The Avalanche is now 22-1-1-1 against Columbus since the Blue Jackets joined the NHL in 2000. Sakic's last hat trick came March 3, 2004, against the Vancouver Canucks.
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