DENVER (AP) -- It might have been a costly two points for the
Behind Patrick Roy's 62nd career shutout, the Avalanche beat
Columbus 5-0 Thursday night, climbing back into a tie with Anaheim
for the eighth-best record in the Western Conference.
Defenseman Derek Morris, however, could be the Avalanche's
second major casualty this week.
Morris left the ice in the second period, bleeding from his
right eye after taking a punch from David Ling that quickly ended a
fight. He did not return.
"We don't know,'' coach Tony Granato said. "He obviously took
a real good one in the cheekbone. He's getting X-rays, and we'll
know more in the morning. Hopefully it's not bad. If it's a crack,
he could be back in 7-to-10 days. If it's just swelling, it will
take a few days to calm down.
"You know how much we rely on him. He gets 25 minutes a game.
He's a solid defenseman, is good on the power play and has been a
great asset to our team. So it will be a loss.''
Morris, Steven Reinprecht and Adam Foote scored power-play goals
as the Avalanche snapped a five-game winless streak at home.
Patrick Roy, playing in his NHL-record 1,001st game, had 18
saves in posting his first shutout of the season.
The Avalanche -- without captain Joe Sakic, who is sidelined from
two-to-four weeks with a broken right foot -- peppered Blue Jackets
goalie Marc Denis, who was replaced by Jean-Francois Labbe midway
through the third period.
Denis stopped 31 of 36 shots.
There were two other injuries of note.
Colorado's Serge Aubin took a puck off his foot early in the
game and did not return, bothered by a bruised foot.
Columbus' Rick Nash went off in the second period with a hip
"They get up 3-0 on three power-play goals, it's tough,''
Columbus interim coach Doug MacLean said. "Their power play was
clicking. Give them full marks.''
MacLean said road games against Dallas and Colorado on
back-to-back nights proved to be insurmountable.
"We went as hard as we could last night,'' he said. "After a
game like that where you go full out, it makes it a tougher hill to
climb. Plus, you've got a desperate team over there that's fighting
for their (playoff) lives.''
Roy said he has been "working a lot harder in practice, and it
paid off. I have a lot more energy. We played extremely well
tonight, a really solid effort. Hopefully, we can put some wins
Morris got the only goal of the first period, which featured a
fight and a penalty shot.
Colorado's Jeff Shantz and Columbus' Tyler Wright went off for
fighting at 2:51, but the Blue Jackets also were whistled for too
many men on the ice. Colorado capitalized at 3:36 on Morris'
power-play goal from the left point past a screened Denis.
Midway through the period, Colorado's Dean McAmmond missed on a
penalty shot. On a breakaway after a turnover, McAmmond was hooked
by Darren Van Impe. His ensuing penalty shot at 12:08 just missed
the right post.
The Avalanche added two more power-play goals in the second
Reinprecht scored at 46 seconds on a Columbus penalty that
carried over from late in the first period. Grant Marshall was
assessed an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty when he lost his
helmet, went to the bench and returned to the ice without putting
on a helmet. Peter Forsberg's pass into the slot deflected off
defenseman Luke Richardson's skate to Reinprecht, who scored from
right of the goal.
Foote made it 3-0 on a shot from the slot at 15:52.
Colorado is 7-1-1-1 without Sakic this season. ... Roy's
most recent shutout was April 3 against Atlanta. ... Roy passed
Dominik Hasek on the NHL shutout list and is tied with Turk Borda
for 12th. ... Colorado has won all 10 games against the 3-year-old
Blue Jackets, scoring at least four goals in nine of those games.