Cam Atkinson notched his first career hat trick and Rick Nash added a pair of goals as the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets knocked the Colorado Avalanche out of the Western Conference playoff race with a 5-2 victory.
The win came at a price for the Blue Jackets, who lost Nash to an undisclosed injury that kept him out for the entire third period. His status remains uncertain for the Jackets' home finale Saturday against the New York Islanders - possibly his final home game in a Columbus jersey as rumors persist that he'll be traded in the offseason.
With the Avalanche now out of the postseason picture, all 16 playoff participants have been determined with only final placings left to be decided.
After Atkinson and Colorado's David Jones traded goals early in the opening period, Nash put the Blue Jackets back in front with 3:31 remaining. The veteran sniper pounced on a rebound of a Mark Letestu shot and fired it past Avalanche netminder Semyon Varlamov from the side of the net for ...