Bernier stops 34 shots as Avalanche beat Blue Jackets 20

      Bernier stops 34 shots as Avalanche beat Blue Jackets 20

      DENVER Jonathan Bernier
      was thrust into the starting role when Semyon Varlamov went down. The backup is
      filling in nicely for Colorado No. 1 goalie. Bernier had 18 of his 34 saves in
      the third period for his second shutout of the season, and the Avalanche beat
      the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 on Thursday night. Mikko Rantanen had a goal and
      an assist and Matt Nieto also scored for the Avalanche, who have won a
      season-high four straight.Article continues below ... It is the first time
      Colorado has won four in a row since Jan. 18-23, 2016. It was also the Avalanche
      21st win, one fewer than all of last year avalancheapparelshop.com/Conor_Timmins_Jersey-34,
      and the 45 points are three fewer than 2016-17. The sudden surge has the players
      thinking playoffs halfway through the season. It totally different situation
      now. The team is feeling good, I think every guy is feeling good about
      themselves, Rantanen said. Bernie played a great game so it looking good for us.
      There a lot of games left so we cant get too comfortable right now. Bernier has
      played in the last three games starting two because of a lower-body injury to
      Varlamov. Varlamov left the game against Winnipeg on Tuesday and Bernier came on
      to get the win in overtime. He just missed a shutout against the New York
      Islanders on Sunday before getting the 16th of his career Thursday night even
      though he didnt think he played his best game. I thought I was giving up a lot
      of rebounds. It was one of those nights where it hard to find the puck, so youre
      just trying to be in good position and seal the bottom, he said. I dont think I
      was as sharp as a lot of games Ive played this year. Sergei Bobrovsky, who has
      played well against Colorado in his career, stopped 30 shots. The Blue Jackets
      are 3-5-2 in their last 10 games. It is what it was. Our guys played hard, said
      Bobrovsky, who is 5-2-1 in his career against Colorado avalancheapparelshop.com/Sergei_Boikov_Jersey-45.
      They played strong defense. Sometimes you have to give the other side credit and
      deal with the result. Rantanen ended the scoreless tie on a power play late in
      the second period. His shot went through a screen and off Columbus defenseman
      Scott Harrington at 1248. The Avalanche had a 21-10 advantage in shots at the
      time of the goal Jonathan
      Bernier Jersey, but Columbus came on strong at the end of the second and the
      third. The Blue Jackets outshot Colorado 21-5 over one stretch and had 16 of the
      first 17 shots on goal to start the third period. We didnt have much in the
      first two, Columbus coach John Tortorella said. We switched a couple of lines
      and obviously played a better third. Couldnt score. Bobrovsky started to come
      off for an extra skater with less than two minutes left, but Colorado gained
      control of the puck. Nieto scored before Bobrovsky could get back to the crease.
      That is my fault on pulling the goalie. I need to wait until we get control,
      Tortorella said. I put Bob in a helluva spot on their second goal. NOTES
      Rantanen has at least one point in 10 of the last 11 games. Varlamov injury will
      sideline him through at least Saturday. Colorado has a week break after that.
      Columbus recalled C Zac Dalpe and D Dean Kukan from Cleveland of the AHL. Both
      were healthy scratches Thursday. Colorado has killed off 39 of the last 40
      power-play opportunities.

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