By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer
DENVER — Boone Jenner scored the winning goal with 11:03 remaining, Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 18 shots and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the slumping Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday night.
Jenner knocked in his third goal of the season on a no-look pass from Cam Atkinson after a turnover deep in Colorado’s end. Brandon Saad and Nick Foligno staked the Blue Jackets to a 2-0 lead with first-period goals.
Blake Comeau scored in the second period, and Samuel Henley followed with his first NHL goal as the Avalanche rallied. Comeau nearly tied the game with 2:09 remaining when he tipped in a shot. But the officials reviewed the play and waved off the goal after ruling he knocked it in with a high stick.
The Avalanche pulled Semyon Varlamov for an extra skater with about two minutes left, but couldn’t get anything past Bobrovsky. Colorado dropped to 0-3-1 on its current homestand.
With the game tied at 2 early in the third period, the Blue Jackets had a golden opportunity when they drew back-to-back-to-back penalties. They had 30 seconds with a two-man advantage — and couldn’t score. And then later 10 more seconds of 5-on-3, but couldn’t score again as Varlamov helped the Avalanche withstand all the penalty minutes.
Colorado knotted the game in the second period on goals from Comeau and Henley, who was recently brought up from San Antonio of the American Hockey League to provide an offensive spark.
Henley turned and fired near the blue line, with a screened Bobrovsky never really reacting to the puck.
Saad scored at 4:56 of the first period to stake Columbus to an early lead. It was his third goal in four games.
Later in the first, Foligno was credited with a goal on a 3-on-1 break when his tip of a pass appeared to deflect off the stick of Colorado defenseman Fedor Tyutin and past Varlamov.
With captain Gabriel Landeskog going on injured reserve Wednesday, Colorado coach Jared Bednar promoted Gabriel Bourque and Henley. He was hoping they could get a struggling team to play with more vigor.
“There’s a certain amount of passion you need in order to win hockey games. We have the ability to recall a couple of guys to help give us that passion,” Bednar said.
Henley, who signed with Colorado as a free agent on May 5, 2014, said his mom, brother and girlfriend were expected to be in the stands for his debut.