DENVER -- The Colorado Avalanche used a quick start, a 33-save performance by Semyon Varlamov and a three-point night from Matt Duchene to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Thursday for their second consecutive win at the Pepsi Center.
PA Parenteau and Duchene scored first-period goals and John Mitchell, who missed most of that period after being struck in the face with the puck, added an insurance goal at 4:38 of the third, shortly after Varlamov robbed the Blue Jackets’ Ryan Johansen on a shot from point-blank range.
Duchene scored his second goal with 1:18 remaining in regulation.
A major component of the Avs' game plan was to play with plenty of energy from the beginning against a Blue Jackets team that was playing back-to-back games and lost 5-2 on Wednesday night in Phoenix.
That's exactly what happened, as Parenteau scored on the game’s first shot. He beat goalie Sergei Bobrovsky from the left circle 51 seconds after the opening faceoff, off a feed from Duchene, for his second goal in the past two games.
Duchene, with his first goal of the season, gave the Avalanche a 2-0 lead at 12:25. Erik Johnson spun around a defender near the right-wing boards and got the puck to Milan Hejduk, whose shot hit teammate Chuck Kobasew in front and bounced into the slot. Duchene pounced on the loose puck and scored into a half-open net.
The Avalanche are without Steve Downie, who suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Tuesday against Los Angeles -- and they temporarily lost Mitchell at 3:38 of the first period. He was struck in the face with a puck after a faceoff and was bleeding profusely as he left the ice. Mitchell returned to the bench at the end of the period.
The Avalanche outshot the Blue Jackets 12-3 in the opening 13 minutes, but Columbus found its skating legs and closed the gap to 14-11 by the end of the period. Varlamov made a huge save with his left pad against R.J. Umberger at 15:30 to keep his team ahead by two goals.
Tempers flared throughout, and the teams combined for 16 penalties totaling 48 minutes through two periods, with a couple of fights and seven roughing minors in the mix.
The Blue Jackets held the Avalanche to six shots in the second period, but Bobrovsky was forced to make a big stop against Kobasew barreling down the slot at the 11-minute mark.
Varlamov held his ground to smother Nick Foligno’s attempt at 15:36 after the Blue Jackets forward skated around Avalanche defenseman Ryan Wilson. Varlamov stopped 12 shots in the period.