It was a hat trick, empty net goal, which crossed the line after two Avs players desperately tried to stop it. Cam Atkinson’s third goal put the Columbus Blue Jackets up 5-2 with less than a minute remaining the on the Avalanche’s playoff chance. Erik Johnson broke his stick on the bench and the Avalanche’s painful playoff life flat-lined.
The Avalanche loss was disappointing, but definitely expected. The Avalanche have just three points from their last six games. Going .500 would still have given the Avalanche a chance going into Saturday’s game, but the team ran out of gas.
The entire Avs game against Columbus was painful. By far the worst team in the league, the Blue Jackets outscored the Avs 7-2 over two games. Three players beat the Avalanche last night; Rick Nash with two goals, Atkinson with his hat trick and Goalie Steve Mason who made 35 saves.
The Avalanche saw goals from David Jones and Paul Stastny and were tied at two a piece. After Stastny’s goal, the Avalanche let up a little and allowed Columbus to score three more before the game’s end. It seemed that the team knew the game was over.
San Jose won their game in a shootout after the Avs game was over, which would have eliminated Colorado from the playoffs either way. However, all of the pressure was off the Sharks so it’s hard to say what would have come of the game. The Avalanche finish their season on Saturday at home against Nashville.