Nylander scores twice, Tarasov stops 46 shots to lead Blue Jackets to 4-1 win over Avalanche

Columbus Blue Jackets forward Johnny Gaudreau (13) controls the puck in front of Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio, Monday, April 1, 2024. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Alex Nylander scored twice and the Columbus Blue Jackets used a three-goal second period to beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 Monday night for their second straight home win.

Kirill Marchenko had a goal and an assist, Cole Sillinger also scored and Eric Gudbranson had two assists for last-place Columbus, which won consecutive games for just the fourth time this season. Daniil Tarasov stopped 46 shots in his first game against the Avalanche.

Chris Wagner scored and Justus Annunen had 21 saves for the Avalanche, who remain tied at 100 points with the Vancouver Canucks, three points behind the Dallas Stars for the Western Conference lead.

“We played a real smart game,” Blue Jackets coach Pascale Vincent said. “That’s a real fast team.”

Marchenko broke a scoreless tie at 9:35 of the second period, sliding the puck between Annunen’s pads on the rush for his second goal in two games and his 20th of the season. Johnny Gaudreau’s secondary assist was his team-leading 56th point and 45 assist.

Nylander gave Columbus a two-goal lead with a wrister from the right circle with 5:48 remaining in the second, and notched his second of the game with 1:57 to go in the period. His 10 goals in 17 games since joining the Blue Jackets is a team record.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said the Blue Jackets were able to capitalize off Colorado turnovers in their own zone.

“The second period our game kind of went away,” he said. “We didn’t execute well enough in the offensive zone.”

Colorado finally got on the board at 4:39 of the third with Wagner’s first goal of the season after he was recalled Sunday from AHL Colorado.

“A 3-0 lead going into the third period against team like that is always a little scary,” Gudbranson said. “They got one back, but we did a very good job of bending today, but not breaking.”

Sillinger had an empty-netter with 1:33 remaining.


Avalanche: At Minnesota on Thursday night.

Blue Jackets: Host the New York Islanders Thursday night.


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