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Budaj records third career shutout in win over Blue Jackets

Nov 18, 2006 - 2:48 AM COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Backup goaltender Peter Budaj's performance helped end the Colorado Avalanche's four-game slide.

Budaj stopped all 25 shots he faced for his third career shutout to lead the Avalanche to a 3-0 victory over the slumping Columbus Blue Jackets.

Rookie Paul Stastny scored the game-winning power-play goal at 7:29 of the first period after the puck squirted out to him from behind the net and he shot it past goaltender Fredrik Norrena's glove.

"They were all bunched in and the rebound came out and Joey (Sakic) kind of forced the turnover and gave it to me and I shot as quick as I could because the goalie was out of position and there were a couple of guys in front," Stastny said. "It turned out to be a pretty big one and allowed us to play with the lead a little bit."

The Avalanche picked up insurance goals in the second period from defenseman Ossi Vaananen - his first of the season - and Marek Svatos.

Budaj, who gave goaltender Jose Theodore the night off, made key saves on the Blue Jackets' power play down the stretch. Columbus was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

"It's always great when the goalie gets a shutout, but you can't do it without the team," Budaj said. "Our team did a tremendous effort tonight. We capitalized on our chances, we did the little things right. We played well defensively, we blocked shots."

The Avalanche scored a total of nine goals in their previous four losses.

"It's always better for the goaltender to play well when your team plays well like we did tonight," Budaj said. "It's a great win and a great start to the road trip for our team."

Sakic had an assist which tied him with Stan Mikita for 14th place on the all-time list.

"I am just fortunate to be around this long and play with a lot of great players," Sakic said. "It's exciting any time you can creep up on great names like that so yeah, things are going pretty well."

Norrena made 25 saves for the Blue Jackets.

"It's tough to comment after a game like this, they just played better than us," Norrena said. "Hopefully everyone wants to get better in here and we can start."

Colorado has won six consecutive meetings between the Western Conference foes and owns a 20-1-1 all-time record in the series.

"I think usually there is a team or two that you have a hard time trying to beat," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "I think everybody has a matchup sometimes where you would like to have some success against them. We have been fortunate in this building we have played well.

"Both games this year in this building we have played extremely well. We weren't worried about the history tonight, we needed the two points real bad."

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