Jones scores in OT to lift Blue Jackets over Avalanche 5-4
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By MITCH STACY
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Seth Jones was in the right place to sweep in a beautiful feed from Pierre-Luc Dubois 59 seconds into overtime to win a game the Columbus Blue Jackets nearly let slip away in the third period.
Dubois, the Blue Jackets' 19-year-old rookie, danced through the slot and into the left circle before sliding the puck back past Colorado's Tyson Barrie and onto Jones' stick. The goal lifted Columbus past the Avalanche 5-4 on Thursday night and allowed the Blue Jackets to hang on to the second Eastern Division wild-card spot, one point behind New Jersey and four behind Philadelphia.
"We wanted to make it a little interesting," Jones quipped.
Colorado tied the game with from Gabriel Landeskog and Carl Soderberg in the third period before Columbus tallied on its first possession of the 3-on-3 OT. Joonas Korpisalo stopped two Colorado shots before the Blue Jackets charged back.
Korpisalo had 23 total saves to get his second win in three days subbing for sick starter Sergei Bobrovsky.
Columbus had to rally from a two-goal deficit in the first period when Barrie and Soderberg scored in a span of 12 seconds. The Blue Jackets scored four straight, including Vanek's pair of second-period goals, to take a 4-2 lead before Colorado evened it in the third frame.
"Being down 2-0 at that point in time the way we were playing, we didn't deserve it," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "I thought we played a good game right on through. We clawed to win it, we had to go to overtime to win it, but I thought we played a good game right on through, right from the drop of the puck."
Semyon Varlamov had 39 saves for Colorado, which lost its third straight. Soderberg had two goals , and Mikko Rantanen a pair of assists. The Avalanche has lost three in a row as they try to stay on the fringes of the Western Conference wild-card playoff picture.
"We found a way to carve a point, but we need to get some more pucks in traffic to the net," Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. "We'll take the point. I don't think we deserve the point tonight. We certainly have to be better than that."
Columbus, winners of five of their last seven, will try to keep up the momentum Friday night when the Detroit Redwings visit in the third game of a four-game homestand. They're surging at the right time, with 14 games remaining.
"We feel good about ourselves right now," Jones said. "It's the home stretch here."
NOTES: Werenski has three goals and two assists in the last five games. ... Dubois has five points in the last two games. ... Colorado F Sven Andrighetto returned after missing 28 games due to injury. ... Barrie has three goals and four assists in the last five games. ... D Mark Alt, D Colin Wilson and F Nail Yakupov were scratched by Colorado. ... Scratches for Columbus included defensemen Taylor Chorney and Scott Harrington, and forwards Markus Hannikainen and Lukas Sedlak.
Colorado: Plays at Arizona on Friday.
Columbus: Hosts Detroit on Friday.
Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy
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Updated March 8, 2018