NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Columbus
(Tuesday, February 10th)
Final Score: Columbus 3, Colorado 0
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - In only his second career start, Dan LaCosta used 31 saves to record his first shutout and lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Avalanche at Nationwide Arena.
Andrew Murray, Jason Williams and Fredrik Modin scored in the third period for Columbus, which has won two straight following a three-game skid. Jan Hejda posted two assists as Columbus swept the season series from the Avalanche, 4-0.
"Everybody is so excited for him," said Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock about LaCosta. "He played solid again -- he's a big guy that moves around the net really well."
Peter Budaj allowed three goals on 30 shots for the struggling Avalanche, who have lost two straight and six of their last eight overall.
Columbus appeared to notch the opening goal with 4:08 remaining in the first period. A centering pass from the left side was tipped into the air before the puck was pushed across the goal line from atop the crease. However, upon further review, it was determined that Murray intentionally batted the puck with his glove and the contest remained scoreless.
"It was more of a reaction thing," said Murray. "I was going to the net and the rebound (deflected) off the goalie. More or less it was just going right at my head so I just put my hand out."
Following a scoreless second period, the Blue Jackets scored the game's first goal 2:29 into the third. Strong forechecking by Raffi Torres allowed the puck to be corralled by Murray beneath the left circle. Murray then drifted toward the net along the goal line and, from a sharp angle, somehow found a tiny hole between the pads of Budaj and the left post. Murray's sixth goal of the season was also assisted by Hejda.
"Our players recognized the sense of urgency (we needed to play with)," said Hitchcock. "Going out in the third period, you could feel it."
With 10:17 remaining in regulation, the hosts grabbed a 2-0 lead on Williams' 11th goal of 2008-09. He streaked down the right-wing side and lit the lamp with a wrist shot from the lower circle.
LaCosta's best save occurred shortly after the Williams tally when he snared a blast from the slot by Jordan Leopold.
The scoring was capped at the 12:16 mark. Hejda ripped a one-timer from the left point off a failed clearing attempt along the half-wall and the disc was deflected by Modin atop the crease before it flew past Budaj.
LaCosta's first start was on Saturday against San Jose, the best team in the Western Conference when he backstopped the Jackets to a 3-2 overtime win...Blue Jackets regular starting goaltender Steve Mason remained sidelined with a case of mononucleosis and isn't expected to return to action until at least Friday's game against Detroit...Columbus improved to 17-9-1 at home this season...Colorado fell to 9-15-1 on the road in 2008-09...The Avs are winless in their last four games in Ohio...The teams combined to go scoreless on five power-play attempts.
02/10 23:35:30 ET