Mikko Rantanen’s wrister beat Sergei Bobrovsky for the decisive goal in the second period as the Colorado Avalanche beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-0 for their fourth straight win Thursday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver.
Rantanen’s shot came from the top of the circle on a power play, giving him 14 goals on the season. His scoring total ranks third on the team behind Nathan MacKinnon (17) and Gabriel Landeskog (16).
Matt Nieto scored his seventh goal of the season for Colorado (21-16-3), which has outscored its opponents 15-6 during its winning streak.
Jonathan Bernier anchored the Avalanche with his second shutout of the year, making 34 saves.
The Avs were playing without No. 1 goalie Semyon Varlamov, who sustained a lower-body injury in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime victory against Winnipeg. Varlamov exited in the second period with what the team later called a muscular injury.
Varlamov, 29, is officially day-to-day and could return Saturday against Minnesota.
Bobrovsky was the hard-luck loser and finished with 30 saves for Columbus (23-16-3), which lost for the fourth time in five games following Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at Dallas.
After a scoreless first period, the Avs scored quickly after a faceoff, with Rantanen taking a feed from Tyson Jost and firing it past Bobrovsky stickside at 12:48 of the second. Samuel Girard was also credited with an assist on the goal.
With the Blue Jackets pressing for the equalizer in the third, the Avs put the game out of reach with Nieto’s goal at the 18:25 mark. MacKinnon got the primary assist on Nieto’s strike while Rantanen logged the secondary.
Colorado’s game against the Wild on Saturday wraps up a six-game homestand. Columbus returns home to face Florida on Sunday.
--Field Level Media