Posted January 25, 2013 on AP on Fox
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Matt Duchene scored two goals and set up another, Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 on Thursday night. Varlamov preserved his ninth career shutout and first of the season when he used his chest to block a shot from in close by Ryan Johansen early in the third period. Varlamov also got an assist from the Avalanche's penalty-killing unit, which shut down all six power plays by the Blue Jackets. Since allowing two power-play goals in a season-opening loss at Minnesota last Saturday, the Avalanche have killed 16 consecutive power-play opportunities by the opposition. Playing their first game since learning they had lost Steve Downie to a season-ending knee injury in Tuesday's win over the Los Angeles Kings, the Avalanche got another scare when John Mitchell took a puck off his face in the first period and left the ice holding a towel to his bleeding nose. Mitchell was tended to by medical staff, returned to the game in the second period with a gauze wrap stuffed up a nostril and scored his second goal of the season off a feed from Milan Hejduk at 4:38 of the third. Duchene scored on a breakaway at 18:42 of the third. He also set up the Avalanche's opening score 51 seconds into the game with a cross-ice to P.A. Parenteau, who wristed a shot from the left circle past goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. It was the second goal in two games for Parenteau, who joined the Avalanche in the offseason as a free agent after playing for the New York Islanders last season. Later in the first, Duchene scored his first goal of the season to put the Avalanche up 2-0. He put in a rebound after Bobrovsky blocked a shot by Hejduk but could not control the loose puck. NOTES: After losing 5-1 in Phoenix on Wednesday, the Blue Jackets went 0-2 in the first of their 11 back-to-back sets this season. Columbus fell to 59-100-26 all-time in the second game of back-to-backs. ... It was the second time in two games that an Avalanche player was struck in the face by a puck. On Tuesday against the Kings, Duchene needed stitches to close a cut on his chin after being hit by a puck. ... It was Varlamov's second career shutout against the Blue Jackets. He also held them scoreless last season.
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