Early goals, Varlamov’s 44 saves lift Avs past CBJ, 4-0

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Jarome Iginla, Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene scored in the first 10 minutes, and Semyon Varlamov made 44 saves to lead the Colorado Avalanche to a 4-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

The shutout was Varlamov’s fifth of the season and the 18th of his NHL career. Three have come against the Blue Jackets.

Alex Tanguay had a goal and an assist, and Tyson Barrie had three assists for the Avalanche, who played their first game without last season’s rookie of the year, Nathan MacKinnon. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft broke a bone in his foot blocking a shot and is unlikely to play again this season.

The Blue Jackets ended a seven-game losing streak Friday night with a 3-2 win at New Jersey. They fell to 12-19-2 at home, worse than all but two other NHL teams.

Curtis McElhinney gave up three goals on 12 shots in the opening period before being replaced by Sergei Bobrovsky, who finished with 20 saves.

It was the second-most shots by the Blue Jackets in a shutout loss, trailing only the 54 they put on Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in a 2-0 loss on April 3, 2012.

Varlamov was not tested for most of the game, although he did turn away prime shots by Ryan Johansen and Jack Johnson during a Columbus power play in the second period.

The Avalanche wasted no time in taking control of the game.

In the opening 2 minutes, Columbus’ Nick Foligno was called for tripping and defenseman Dalton Prout for delay of game when he cleared the puck over the glass, leading to 56 seconds of 5-on-3 action.

Iginla ripped a one-timer from the left circle at the 2:24 mark for his 21st of the season, while Colorado had the two-man advantage. Just before the second penalty ended, Landeskog took a pass right of the net, negotiated some traffic in front and reached around to tuck a shot inside the far post for his 18th at 3:51.

Blue Jackets forward Scott Hartnell then made an egregious giveaway at the blue line, tossing a blind, behind-his-back pass directly to Duchene. He roared in all alone on McElhinney and slid the puck between his leg pads for his 17th at 9:53.

Bobrovsky replaced McElhinney at the start of the second period.

Tanguay scored midway through the third period, waiting and waiting until a sliding Blue Jackets player got out of his way before slipping a shot through Bobrovsky, who had stopped the first 14 shots he faced.

NOTES: Earlier in the day, Columbus added LW Rene Bourque, acquired at the trade deadline from Anaheim in the deal for D James Wisniewski, on emergency recall from its AHL affiliate. The Blue Jackets also sent C Brian Gibbons to the Springfield Falcons. … Colorado RW Dennis Everberg took a hard shot by Dalton Prout off his boot and hobbled to the bench in the first period. Everberg returned in the second period. … Referee Chris Rooney took a shot off his left knee at 1:42 of the second and hit the ice while crying out in pain. He was helped off the ice and did not return.


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This article was written by Rusty Miller from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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