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Avalanche hands Blue Jackets 7th straight loss

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Colorado Avalanche needed a win and
David Aebischer got one for them.

Marek Svatos had a goal and two assists, Andrew Brunette added a
goal and assist, and Aebischer stopped 35 shots to help the
Avalanche beat Columbus 5-0 on Friday night, handing the Blue
Jackets their seventh loss in a row.

The Avs had lost a season-high three in a row coming in.

"It's good to win. It's a bonus to get a shutout," Aebischer
said after running his record to 5-0 against Columbus with his 34th
career shutout. "I had three below-average games. But I came back
tonight and played well."

Ian Laperriere, Brad May and Joe Sakic also scored and Pierre
Turgeon had two assists as Colorado improved to 15-0-1-1 against
the Blue Jackets since Columbus came into the NHL five seasons ago.

"We won the puck right off the bat and didn't wait for them to
get the momentum," Turgeon said. "When you give them a little bit
of light, all of a sudden they feel better and they play better. We
got the lead right off the bat and obviously we built on that."

It was another sorry showing for the Blue Jackets, who have not
led in 420 minutes. They have lost 11 of 12 including five straight
at home. They hit the road for a three-game trip having lost nine
in a row away from Ohio.

"Everyone's sick of losing," Columbus defenseman Bryan Berard
said. "It's no fun. We've got to score some goals."

Columbus has been shut out three times and has scored fewer than
three goals in 16 of its 23 games. The offense ranks a distant last
in the NHL as the Blue Jackets continue to try to find goals
without top scorer Rick Nash, defensemen Adam Foote and Rostislav
Klesla, and goaltender Marc Denis, all of whom are out with
injuries.

"We made mistakes and they put them in the back of the net. And
we can't get a goal," Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant said.
"We're trying. It's disappointing. I know the players are
disappointed. To come out tonight and lose 5-0, it's
unbelievable."

The Avalanche scored two goals off nifty assists late in the
opening period, the first on a power play.

Brunette carried the puck as he rushed the net along the goal
line from the right wing but lost control in the crease. Svatos was
there to score his 11th goal at 13:25.

"It's going in for me right now and I'm happy for it," Svatos
said.

With 33 seconds left in the period, Columbus' Sergei Fedorov
gave up the puck behind the net. Turgeon backhanded a centering
pass from the boards to Laperriere, who one-timed it for his eighth
goal.

"We've been making it too complicated lately," Laperriere
said. "The last few games we've struggled because we've tried to
make those fancy plays at the blue line. Tonight we simplified our
game plan, put it deep and then went in and got it."

The Avalanche made it 3-0 with 24 seconds left in the second,
with Brunette scoring on a rebound of Rob Blake's blast from the
point.

"You don't win for a few games and all of a sudden you're
looking up at three or four different teams," Brunette said. "We
really need to keep pace. It's been a tough grind for the past two
or three weeks. We really needed these points."

There were boos from a sellout crowd of 18,136 after the
Avalanche scored twice in a span of 75 seconds in the third period.
May was left with an open net after Svatos' pass to him on the
doorstep. Sakic scored on an odd-man rush off an assist from Milan
Hejduk.

"It was a game we had to win," Colorado coach Joel Quenneville
said. "We'd lost three in a row. It was a valuable two points."

Game notes
Columbus captain Luke Richardson was a healthy scratch.
Foote, who played for Quebec/Colorado the last 13 seasons, was
scratched due to a groin injury. ... Turgeon hurt his groin in the
second period and didn't return. ... Some Avalanche fans unfurled a
sign wishing D John-Michael Liles, an Indiana native, a happy 25th
birthday.