Blue Jackets beat Colorado Avalanche 5-4

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Blue Jackets beat Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in overtime in Columbus.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
  • Total Shares


Columbus goaltender Marc Denis was able to get a little bit of revenge against his former team. In a performance marked by 32 saves, Denis would spur his team onto victory. Early on, however, it was Colorado that dominated. Captain Joe Sakic scored his 25th goal of the season to open the scoring, taking a perfect lead pass from Alex Tanguay after 13 minutes and four seconds. Them just one second after a power play ended, the Avalanche made it 2-0 with John-Michael Liles' sixth goal of the season. Paul Kariya was then stopped by Denis after a penalty shot, Denis kicked the shot away with his right foot, midway through the second period. The shot was awarded because a Blue Jackets player fell on the puck in the crease during a wild scramble after 10 minutes and 27 seconds. The save proved to be the change in momentum that the Blue Jackets needed. David Vyborny then netted with his third attempt as Columbus exploited a power play after 14 minutes and 59 seconds. Just 25 seconds later, Vyborny flipped the puck high in the air from the neutral zone and right to a streaking Geoff Sanderson who scored with a breakaway. Vyborny finished the game with five points, a career high, as were his four assists which also equalled a franchise record. He also matched his career high for points in a season with 46. Nikolai Zherdev then had two shots at goals, one hit the post, before converting a cross-crease pass from Andrew Cassels for a 3-2 lead. Zherdev had missed the last two games, flying to Switzerland to testify in an arbitration hearing which was due to his leaving his club team in Russia to play with Columbus. In the third period, the Avalanche pulled level after Joe Sakic's patient pass to Alex Tanguay, who scored his 22nd of the campaign. After Manny Malhotra scored after a give-and-go with Darrel Scoville, who earned his first NHL point, Colorado again equalized when Milan Hejduk scored after Rob Blake's slap shot clanged off a post and ricocheted to the scorer. However, Denis would again inspire his team. A minute-and-a-half into overtime the former Colorado netminder crucially stopped Sakic on a breakaway before, on the power play in overtime, Liles who had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, was called for hooking after three minutes and three seconds. Jaroslav Spacek then saw his effort blocked, but he reloaded and beat goaltender Philippe Sauve from the point after taking a pass from Andrew Cassels. (AP)