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Norrena leads Blue Jackets to shutout of Avalanche

Dec 6, 2006 - 4:59 AM
DENVER (Ticker) -- Fredrik Norrena and the Columbus Blue Jackets are slowly becoming a better team under Ken Hitchcock.

Norrena made 42 saves, including 21 in the second period, as the Blue Jackets posted a 3-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.

Anson Carter had a goal and an assist and Jason Chimera and Fredrik Modin each tallied once for Columbus, which beat Colorado for the first time in regulation. The Blue Jackets had been 0-21-1 in its previous 22 games vs. Colorado.

It was the second straight shutout for Norrena, who was traded to the Blue Jackets along with Modin in exchange for goaltender Marc Denis on June 30, 2006.

"He (Norrena) was fantastic," Modin said. "I can't count how many times he stopped tips, which are so hard to get. They were getting shots from the point and getting the high tips, but he was on his game tonight."

The 33-year-old netminder is in his first year in the NHL but has international experience, including helping Finland win a silver medal at the 2006 Olympic Games.

"I've played on winning teams so it's a feeling I want to have and it's what I've been working for," Norrena said. "We've just been playing great defensively and it just makes it so much easier for me. I'm just trying to relax and keep my feet on the ground and try hard."

"I don't know his NHL career but I've seen him internationally three times," Hitchcock said. "He's a very good goalie. He's been in a lot of big games. He's very composed in the goal and the thing for us is that's the strength of our club right now."

It was also the Blue Jackets' first win in 11 tries in Denver. Prior to the victory Tuesday, their lone win against the Avalanche came in a 5-4 shootout on February 28, 2004, in Columbus.

The Blue Jackets are 3-3-0 under Hitchcock since the veteran coach was named on November 22. Before then, the Blue Jackets were just 4-13-2 under fired coach Gerard Gallant and interim Gary Agnew.

Chimera scored the initial goal with 8:17 left in the first period and Carter followed 2 1/2 minutes later with his fifth goal of the season.

"We're just playing smarter, we're playing as five-man units right now," Carter said. "Hitch (Hitchcock) has really come in and put a system in place and guys have bought into it. Our coaches are doing a great job of teaching our guys where to be on the ice and guys are working hard away from the puck."

Modin tallied an insurance goal with five seconds left in the second session for the Blue Jackets, who have won two straight.

"A couple of shots from the point, a couple bounces went in and we're down 2-0 after the first," Avalanche goaltender Peter Budaj said. "The second period was tough for us. We outshot them, outchanced them, but we couldn't find the net. And unfortunately they scored with five seconds left, which was kind of a backbreaker for us. We should never let goals in with five seconds left in a period."

Budaj stopped 18 shots for Colorado, which is just 1-7-0 this season when attempting 40 or more shots on net.

"Columbus has been playing better since the coaching change," Avalanche center Joe Sakic said. "But tonight we didn't find a way to win the hockey game and that's disappointing. We have to go on the road and pick up some points."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 1 0 3
    COLORADO 0 0 0 0 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 4 (RON HAINSEY, DAN FRITSCHE) 11:43
    COB - ANSON CARTER 5 (DAN FRITSCHE, ANDERS ERIKSSON) 14:21
    2ND PRD: COB - FREDRIK MODIN 7 (MANNY MALHOTRA, ANSON CARTER) 19:55
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIO

    Dec 5 11:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 1 3
    COLORADO 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 4 (RON HAINSEY, DAN FRITSCHE) 11:43
    COB - ANSON CARTER 5 (DAN FRITSCHE, ANDERS ERIKSSON) 14:21
    2ND PRD: COB - FREDRIK MODIN 7 (MANNY MALHOTRA, ANSON CARTER) 19:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL:

    Dec 5 10:34 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 3
    COLORADO 0
    2ND PRD: COB - FREDRIK MODIN 7 (MANNY MALHOTRA, ANSON CARTER) 19:55

    Blue Jackets vs. AvalancheDec 5 10:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COLUMBUS 2 2
    COLORADO 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 4 (RON HAINSEY, DAN FRITSCHE) 11:43
    COB - ANSON CARTER 5 (DAN FRITSCHE, ANDERS ERIKSSON) 14:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    COB 9 9

    Dec 5 9:40 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 2
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: COB - ANSON CARTER 5 (DAN FRITSCHE, ANDERS ERIKSSON) 14:21

    Blue Jackets vs. AvalancheDec 5 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    COLUMBUS 1
    COLORADO 0
    1ST PRD: COB - JASON CHIMERA 4 (RON HAINSEY, DAN FRITSCHE) 11:43

    Blue Jackets vs. AvalancheDec 5 9:28 PM