February 24, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Steve Mason (1) makes a save on Colorado Avalanche right wing Steve Downie (27) at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Three minutes into the first McLeod has the first chance for the Avalanche, drove to the net fast and hard but Steve Mason was able to make the save. After the stoppage of play, the Avalanche kept up the pressure. Downie was a pest in front of the net, and it resulted in a decent chance. Unfortunately the puck worked free and the Blue Jackets were able to get it into the Avalanche defensive zone. Unfortunately for the Avalanche, that's where it would spend the majority of the first period.
When the Avalanche finally get possession, Jay McClement has an incredible chance at an open net, however, Mason flew from out of nowhere to make an unbelievable save. After a very delayed whistle, the Avalanche get to spend a couple minutes in the box due to a trip by O'Brien. The Avalanche are able to hold off the Blue Jackets to only one shot, and no goal. After the penalty kill, the Avs continue to get seriously outplayed by the Jackets. Columbus keeps putting pressure on Colorado, but finally, David Jones gets possession of the puck. He gets a 2-on-1 going with O'Brien and he puts it behind Mason with 30 seconds left in the first. Avs go to the locker room leading by one, and they should be happy with that.
Two minutes into the second period the Avalanche get their first, and only, power play of the night, on a delay of game- the puck went over the glass. The Avalanche had a great chance on the power play, in fact, the puck went in, but the ref lost sight of the puck and had intent to blow, so it was waived off as a no goal. This seemed to give Nash's team (is that the last time we will type this?) even more energy and the next several minutes are all Columbus.
Jones trips Brassard up and Brassard tries to fight Jones. The referees interfere and send Jones off to the Sin Bin for two minutes. The Avalanche kill this one off too, allowing, once again, only one shot on net. The Avalanche finally gain possession of the puck, and off of a terrific pass by Steve Downie, Gabe Landeskog beats Mason high glove side. With this goal the Avalanche are finally starting to get some momentum half-way through he second period. With this goal, Landeskog is tied with Stastny for the team lead - with 16 goals. With a minute left in the second, Jay McClement gets in a scrap - his first fight of the season- against MacKenzie. Interesting to note, McClement didn't do poorly in the fight.
David Jones gets his second goal of the night, on a great play by Mark Olver. Olver was behind the net and worked hard to get Jones the puck, who didn't make a mistake and put it in the netting. You might be wondering why Olver wasn't with the Avs right out of training camp, he was out half the year due to a concussion. With Jones' second of the night, the Avs are up 3-0.
On a nifty little play bu Johnson, Downie gets the Avalanche up four nothing. Erik gets up in the play, and Downie sees the puck, and gets it behind Mason. With this goal the Avalanche finally take the game fully in hand. They keep applying pressure and have a lot of energy.
Matt Hunwick gets a breakaway chance and is able to score, putting the Avalanche up an astounding 5-0.
The Avalanche win their first of back-to-back games, thanks in large part to Varlamov. Varlamov had fantastic side-to-side movement and an overall terrific game.
For those interested, according to Adrian Dater, there were scouts from the Bruins, Flyers, Rangers, Devils, Sharks, Penguins, and the Lightning. Is this one of the teams that will land Nash? The thing you won't see on the scoreboard is that the Columbus Blue Jackets were leading this game - easily - for the first thirty minutes. They just were unable to put get the puck past Varlamov.
- 1 Semyon Varlamov
- 2 Steve Downie
- 3 David Jones
- 1 Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O`Reilly - Steve Downie
- 2 Matt Duchene - Paul Stastny - Milan Hejduk
- 3 Daniel Winnik - Mark Olver - David Jones
- 4 Cody McLeod - Jay McClement - Chuck Kobasew
- 1 Ryan O`Byrne was placed on the injury reserve with a knee injury. He's expected to be out 2-3 weeks.
- 2 Erik Johnson is back in the lineup.
- 3 Sherman was apparently told by the Lightning that he would be flipping Kyle Quincey immediately.
- 4 Steve Downie can pass! Wow.
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