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game recap

Blue Jackets 3, Avalanche 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 2:49 AM

Associated Press

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Blue Jackets 3, Avalanche 1
Colorado Avalanche 1, Columbus Blue Jackets 3

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Rick Nash scored and assisted on Derick Brassard's go-ahead goal in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 3-1 win over Colorado on Friday night, spoiling Peter Forsberg's return with the Avalanche.

The loss was the sixth in a row for the Avalanche, which dropped to 11-2-0 when leading after one period. Forsberg played 22 shifts totaling 17:38 of ice time and had one shot on goal after joining the team for his first NHL game in almost three years.

Nash converted an assist from Jakub Voracek to tie the game in the second period, then stole the puck and fed Brassard for the go-ahead goal. Mathieu Garon was strong in goal with 31 saves for Columbus, and Derek MacKenzie added an empty-netter.

Former Columbus draft pick Philippe Dupuis scored for the Avs, who have been outscored 21-7 during their losing streak. But the bright spot was unquestionably Forsberg.

The 37-year-old former Hart Trophy winner as the NHL's MVP had foot problems when he stepped away from Colorado after the 2007-08 season. After recovering, he played last year in his native Sweden before returning to practice with the Avalanche on Jan. 22. He signed a contract on Sunday and had to iron out some immigration paperwork before hitting the ice against Columbus.

The game matched two teams with almost identical records struggling to remain in the Western Conference race. Both came into the showdown a few points out of the final qualifying spot.

The Avalanche has long been the Blue Jackets' nemesis. Columbus improved to just 9-26-1-1 against Colorado, which had won the last six meetings - the last three by 5-1 scores.

The Blue Jackets overcame a 1-0 lead with two goals in the second, both off big plays by Nash. At the 7:19 mark, he took a nifty cross-ice pass from Voracek and fired it into the net from the bottom of the left circle for his 25th goal of the year.

Later in a chippy, fight-filled period, Colorado goalie Peter Budaj settled the puck behind the net for defenseman John-Michael Liles. But just as Liles began to skate away with it, Nash forced a turnover and centered the puck to Brassard, who skated laterally while waiting for Budaj to slide out of position. He then wristed a shot past the goalie for his 14th of the year.

Garon, making his first start since Jan. 18, won for the first time since Dec. 21 against Calgary. He was brilliant when he needed to be, turning away several quality scoring chances in the first period. With 1:30 left, he turned aside Milan Hejduk's scoring attempt.

The Avalanche scored first, thanks to a gift from the Blue Jackets.

R.J. Umberger's pass in the neutral zone was intercepted in stride by Dupuis, who had no one close to him as he swooped in for what resembled a shootout attempt. Dupuis had room to avoid defenseman Kris Russell's stick and beat Garon high for his fourth goal of the season.

Dupuis was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the fourth round in 2003 but never got a chance with the big club. Acquired in a trade from Columbus on Jan. 22, 2008, he played most of last year with the Avalanche's AHL affiliate in Cleveland, the Lake Erie Monsters.

NOTES: With the trade deadline less than three weeks away, nine teams had scouts at the game. ... Adam Foote, a former Columbus captain who was traded back to the Avalanche, was a scratch with a leg injury. ... MacKenzie played his 100th career NHL game for the Blue Jackets.

scoring summary
1st Period
Philippe Dupuis (4) ASST: NONE
1 - 0 COL
2nd Period
Rick Nash (25) ASST: Jakub Voracek (25), Fedor Tyutin (17)
1 - 1 Tie
Derick Brassard (14) ASST: Rick Nash (23)
2 - 1 CBJ
3rd Period
EN - Derek MacKenzie (3) ASST: Samuel Pahlsson (8)
3 - 1 CBJ
penalty summary
1st Period
Jared Boll  Fighting (maj) against  Cody McLeod
Cody McLeod  Fighting (maj) against  Jared Boll
2nd Period
Jared Boll  Fighting (maj) against  David Koci
David Koci  Fighting (maj) against  Jared Boll
Daniel Winnik  Fighting (maj) against  Derek Dorsett
Derek Dorsett  Fighting (maj) against  Daniel Winnik
R.J. Umberger  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Brandon Yip  Hooking against  Anton Stralman
3rd Period
Paul Stastny  Slashing against  Rick Nash
goalie stats
Peter Budaj
SA: 31TOI: 58:33
Saves: 29EV: 23 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .935SH: 0 - 0
Mathieu Garon
Mathieu Garon
SA: 32TOI: 60:00
Saves: 31EV: 28 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .969SH: 1 - 1 is the official Web site of the Colorado Avalanche. Colorado Avalanche and are trademarks of Colorado Avalanche, LLC. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Colorado Avalanche Hockey Team, Inc. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.