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Avs extend streak as Theodore helps hold off Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche got off to a strong
start and Jose Theodore was there to finish it off.

Theodore made 19 of his 41 saves in the third period to help the
Avalanche hold on for a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets
on Wednesday night.

"I knew they were going to shoot from everywhere and that's
what they did," Theodore said of the Blue Jackets, which entered
tied for the league low with 19 goals and fell behind 4-1 in the
second period. "It was obviously a lot of work, but we didn't
panic and got the job done."

Wojtek Wolski, Brett McLean, Joe Sakic, Mark Rycroft and Brad
Richardson scored for Colorado, which has won five of its last
seven. The Avalanche are 18-1-2 all-time against Columbus.

"We have balance in our lines," Colorado coach Joel
Quenneville said. "We feel that everybody can score and tonight we
did have everybody on the score sheet."

Sergei Fedorov, Fredrik Modin and David Vyborny scored for
Columbus, which has won once in its last seven games.

"We had probably our best offensive game of the season with
scoring chances and putting a lot of shots on net," Blue Jackets
coach Gerard Gallant said. "But every time we made a mistake it
ended up in the back of the net."

Modin scored a power-play goal from the low slot at 18:50 in the
second to cut it to 4-1. Vyborny made it 4-3 at 14:21 of the third,
skating down the right wing and snapping home a cross ice pass from
Modin.

But Richardson stole the puck from Rick Nash at the Columbus
blue line and skated in alone before lifting a shot over Pascal
Leclaire just 27 seconds later to give Colorado a two-goal
advantage.

"I was just trying to play good defensive hockey, but he tried
to make a move and fumbled it a bit," Richardson said. "Luckily I
grabbed it from him. I went in, saw a hole and shot for it."

The Avalanche weathered several short-handed situations in the
final period, including a 5-on-3 and a 6-on-3.

"Jose was great," Quenneville said. "He had a lot of stuff
around the net. He found pucks through traffic. Generally, if
you're successful killing penalties the goalie is going to lead the
way and he did."

Fedorov's first goal of the season pulled Columbus to 2-1 at
11:18 in the first, but Colorado regained the momentum early in the
second period. With Alexander Svitov again in the penalty box,
Sakic slammed home a centering pass by Andrew Brunette from behind
the net to give the Avalanche a 3-1 lead at 4:00.

Late in the period, Rycroft slid behind defenseman Anders
Eriksson to chip home a long rebound from a sharp angle and under
Leclaire's arm at 15:18.

Game notes
Columbus is 3-for-46 on the power play in the last seven
games. ... Nash is without a goal in seven games, the longest
drought of his career. ... The Avalanche were the least penalized
team the first month of the season, but took nine penalties against
the Blue Jackets.