NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Columbus
(Wednesday, December 5th)
Final Score: Columbus 5, Colorado 4
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Dan Fritsche capped a four-goal, third-period rally with the game-winner as the Columbus Blue Jackets stormed past Colorado, 5-4, at Nationwide Arena.
Rick Nash had a pair of goals, while Nikolai Zherdev and Joakim Lindstrom also tallied for Columbus, which has won two of its last three games. Kris Beech had a career-high three assists, while Fredrik Norenna picked up the win, stopping 10-of-11 shots in the third period after replacing Pascal Leclaire, who surrendered three goals on 25 shots before he was pulled at the end of two.
"It doesn't matter what teams we struggle with," said Fritsche. "We're trying to build a new identity and a new team this year. We don't want to look past records because that means nothing to us. We're a new team this year. We have the confidence this year that we can play and beat any team."
Paul Stastny and Scott Hannan each had a goal and an assist for Colorado, which lost in regulation at Columbus for the first time in 12 games. Wojtek Wolski and Jeff Finger also scored, while Peter Budaj made 26 saves in defeat for the Avs, who have dropped four of six overall.
Trailing 3-1 heading to the third, Columbus pulled even with goals a little more than two minutes apart.
Nash registered his second of the night on a wraparound at 7:07, cutting it to 3-2, while Lindstrom tied the game during an odd-man rush on the power play, as he tipped in a cross-crease feed from Beech at 9:26.
Zherdev then scored the go-ahead goal with 5:16 remaining, as he took a pass from Curtis Glencross, slid through a pair of defenders and beat Budaj with a wrister on the stick-side.
Hannan countered just 41 seconds later, but Fritsche netted the game-winner with 4:05 left when he lit the lamp on a backhander after Jason Chimera's shot was stopped by Budaj, who left the rebound laying out in front.
"We were in our end a little bit more than we were all game and didn't have the patience or the control that was necessary at that time," said Colorado head coach Joel Quenneville. "It was nice to see us score right after to make it 4-4, but we can't give up that fifth one."
Nash broke a five-game scoreless streak just 6:33 into the first period on a nifty pass from Beech, who tried to split the defense, nearly lost the puck between the circles and somehow got it to Nash, who spun around in the left circle and beat Budaj low on the far side.
The tide turned in the second period though, as Colorado scored three goals, including two just 53 seconds apart.
The tying goal came early on, as Stastny's shot deflected off the skate of a Jackets' defenseman and kicked to the right circle, where Wolski rammed it home at 2:25.
Stastny then put the Avs in front with 2:50 remaining in the stanza, as he knocked the puck under the glove of a sprawling Leclaire during a scrum in the crease. The game was held up for several minutes, with replays showing the puck clearly crossing the goal line before it was knocked away.
Finger lit the lamp 53 ticks later, as he bested Leclaire on a hard slapshot from the right circle that got through traffic in front, including several players that appeared to interfer with the netminder.
The Avalanche activated forward Ian Laperriere from the injured reserve list and reassigned forward Wyatt Smith to Lake Erie of the American Hockey League...Nash has six goals and three assists in 16 games against the Avs...Colorado is just 4-9-1 on the road this season and hasn't had consecutive road victories since October 23-26...Leclaire is 0-5-1 in six career starts versus Colorado.
12/06 00:19:47 ET