Blue Jackets 2, Avalanche 0

Associated Press  |  Last updated March 01, 2012
Steve Mason stopped 32 shots for his first shutout of the season, defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Nikita Nikitin both scored, and the Columbus Blue Jackets snapped a two-year drought against Colorado by beating the Avalanche 2-0 on Thursday night. The Blue Jackets gave Mason an early lead and he protected it en route to his 19th NHL shutout, which snapped Columbus' 0-9-1 skid against the Avalanche that dated to the 2009-10 season. The Avalanche had their four-game winning streak snapped as they were shut out for the seventh time this season. They also missed a chance to move into eighth place in the Western Conference. Mason withstood a push from the Avalanche, making a key save on a shot by Stefan Elliott early in the third period. He then sprawled on the ice to stuff a shot by Jay McClement at the end of a rush. A shot by Elliott with 2:35 remaining hit the post. Colorado pulled goalie Semyon Varlamov for an extra attacker with 1:50 left and went on the power play in the final 1:38 but couldn't break through. Columbus was on the power play when Nikitin gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 12:53 of the first period. He fired a shot from the point that got past Varlamov, whose winning streak was stopped at three - one shy of his season best. Tyutin, who assisted on Nikitin's goal, netted his fifth of the season on a slap shot from the top of the left circle that sailed in over the stick of Varlamov. NOTES: Columbus lost 5-0 to the Avalanche last week. ... The Blue Jackets' Vinny Prospal assisted on both goals. ... Left wing Jamie McGinn played in his first game for the Avalanche since being acquired Monday from the San Jose Sharks. ... Nikitin has at least one point in seven of his last 10 games. ... The Avalanche had scored at least four goals in each of their previous four games.
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