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03/03/2013 7:09 PM EST
Anisimov's OT goal lifts CBJ past Avs, 2-1
COLUMBUS 2, COLORADO 1 (OT)

By RUSTY MILLER
AP Sports Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Artem Anisimov took a shot to the right
knee early in the Columbus Blue Jackets' game on Sunday. He came
back in the second period, and got even a bit later.



Anisimov scored on a hard wrister during a power play in
overtime, lifting Sergei Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets to a 2-1
victory over the Colorado Avalanche.



"I passed two times to Timmy (Erixon) and he didn't score,"
Anisimov said. "So I decided, why not? I've got to shoot the
puck and score."



Bobrovsky made 18 saves as Columbus finally won a close game.
The Blue Jackets had lost four in a row, each by one goal, with
the last two coming in overtime. They also stopped a slide of
seven losses in eight games, all but one of those defeats by a
single goal.



The game was tied at 1 for most of the third period and the
first 2:26 of overtime. It was debatable whether either team
deserved its goal in regulation.



The winning sequence began with Anisimov with the puck near the
right dot. Teammate R.J. Umberger was backed up to the crease
and goalie Semyon Varlamov was struggling to get an unobstructed
view.



"I saw Umby was in front of the net and the goalie didn't see
more than my left side," said Anisimov, who played with Varlamov
in the Russian Super League in 2006-07. "I tried the shot to the
short side."



Anisimov, who was acquired in the blockbuster deal last summer
that sent Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, played with the
puck for a moment before firing a high, hard forehand wrist shot
just inside the near goal post that barely missed Umberger.



"I thought he was going to come down to me with the pass. I was
trying to get myself in position so I could make a power move,"
Umberger said. "But he made a shot and it went in. Somehow."



Vinny Prospal had the other goal for the Blue Jackets, thanks to
Ryan O'Reilly, who inadvertently tapped it in while making his
season debut for the Avs.



P.A. Parenteau scored for Colorado, but also was called for
hooking Umberger on a rush to provide the power play that
decided the outcome.



O'Reilly, last year's leading scorer for Colorado with 18 goals
and 37 assists, had missed the first five weeks of the
abbreviated season in a contract dispute that ended when the
Avalanche matched an offer sheet he signed with Calgary.



"He was like everybody else," Avalanche coach Joe Sacco said
when asked to assess O'Reilly's play. "We didn't get a lot of
offensive production from our lines. We didn't generate a lot
because we weren't skating the way we normally skate."



The Blue Jackets tied it in the third, making the most of their
second lengthy opportunity with a two-man advantage. Prospal's
centering pass from the right side went off the stick of
O'Reilly 4:04 into the period.



It was the first time this season Columbus had scored on a 5 on
3. It also was Prospal's team-best eighth goal, and it came two
weeks after he turned 38 years old.



"I'm not going to play forever, so this is something I try to
live by," Prospal said when asked whether the goals this late in
his career are even sweeter. "There's never enough of them."



Varlamov, who shut out Columbus 4-0 on Jan. 24 while making 33
saves, stymied the Blue Jackets for the first 104 minutes he
faced them this season.



"He played well again," Sacco said. "He certainly gave us a
chance to win. He battled, he fought. That's all you can ask of
your goalie."



Colorado scored first at 12:35 of the second period, also on a
quirky goal. Parenteau sent the puck from the right point toward
the net. Teammate Matt Duchene lifted his stick in a redirect
attempt but missed the puck. It surprised Bobrovsky, slowly
floating past him. A video review showed Duchene had not touched
the puck.



It was Parenteau's team-leading ninth of the year.



The Avalanche killed 1:21 of a two-man disadvantage in the
opening period. They also dodged a possible goal when Derek
Dorsett's 2-on-1 attempt off a nifty pass from Derek MacKenzie
was wide of an almost empty net while Varlamov was caught out of
position.



Anisimov was thrilled he could return to the ice and still make
a contribution.



"For me, it's more of a team win," he said. "We got two huge
points. We just need to keep going."



NOTES: Colorado D Patrick Bordeleau slammed D Nikita Nikitin
into the boards in the second. Nikitin (upper body injury) went
directly to the dressing room and did not return. Moments later,
Columbus' Jared Boll fought with Bordeleau. ... The Avalanche
opened a three-game road trip that will also take them to
Detroit and Chicago. ... The Blue Jackets were without several
top players: C Brandon Dubinsky (right knee), D Jack Johnson
(shoulder), D James Wisniewski (broken right foot), C Derick
Brassard (upper body) and D John Moore (upper body). ...
Colorado is 6-2-1 at home and 2-6-3 on the road.



---



Follow Rusty Miller on Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/rustymillerap

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