Colorado 4 Columbus 2 The Blue Jackets were outgunned by a tough Colorado team. Three unanswered second period goals by the Avalanche put the game away. Paul Kariya had an empty net goal to ice the game for Colorado.
Rookie Nikolai Zherdev started the scoring with a power play goal, assists by Andrew Cassels and Jaroslav Spacek. The avalanche from the Avalanche came in the second period. Goals by Marek Svatos sandwiched a tally by Joe Sakic. Petr Forsberg did not get a goal, but his presence was felt from his tough play and three assists. In the third, Spacek got a goal to pull the Blue Jackets to within one, but Kariya's empty net goal iced the game. Svatos' second goal banked off of a defenseman then Denis. A bit fluky but they all count.
Jody Shelley returned to the lineup after a three game suspension. Saturday's game against Detroit is the season finale. Before the game, Columbus owner John H. McConnell spoke to the capacity crowd in a video. "We've got some great young players coming up who will be superstars in the future," he said. "Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev are just two; there are many more in the wings. You're going to see a great hockey team in the future." We hope so, John.