COLUMBUS, Ohio – David Jones gave the injury-depleted Colorado Avalanche a big lift in his return.
Jones, coming off a hand injury, had two goals and an assist and two former Columbus prospects scored six minutes apart in the second period in Colorado’s 5-1 victory over the Blue Jackets on Friday night.
“It’s a nice way to get yourself back in the lineup,” Colorado coach Joe Sacco said. “I thought Jonesey played well tonight. He played hard. He was physical on the puck. As a result he got rewarded for it with a couple of goals. It was a good game for him.”
Greg Mauldin scored his first career goal, short-handed at 10:57 off a pass from Jones, to put Colorado ahead 2-1. Philippe Dupuis added a goal with 2:48 left, and Paul Stastny made it 4-1 with nine seconds left in the second period.
Columbus, coming off an 8-1 victory over St. Louis on Wednesday night, struck first when Antoine Vermette scored at 4:15, but Jones countered two minutes later after missing the previous two games. He scored his sixth of the season with 2:08 left in the third period.
“It’s frustrating,” Columbus goalie Steve Mason said. “You win one game and the next one you come out with an effort like this. We had a game plan coming in and we just got away from it and they capitalized on our chances. At the end of the day we are just not doing our jobs.”
The Avalanche have beaten the Blue Jackets six straight times, winning both this season 5-1.
“There’s something here mental against this team,” Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. “You could see it out there again and we saw it in Colorado.”
The Avalanche took the lead on Columbus’ first power play. Jones took an errant pass in front of the Colorado bench to create an odd-man rush. Mauldin took a centring pass in the slot and beat Mason to the stick side.
“In the second period we dominated them until that goal,” Arniel said.
Mauldin, who played six games with the Blue Jackets in 2003-04 and one with the New York Islanders last season, was recalled from the American Hockey League’s Lake Erie Monsters on Thursday because the Avalanche have eight regulars injured.
“It was huge, especially at that point of the game, too,” Mauldin said. “Individually, I’ve been waiting for this since I was six years old. It’s nice to get it off my back. It’s a little bit better doing it against my old team. It’s just nice to come back and play again in the National Hockey League.”
Sacco said Mauldin earned a shot with the Avalanche.
“It’s always nice to see a guy that put in time in the American Hockey League get rewarded,” Sacco said. “As an organization, we try to reward guys based on merit with their play down in the American Hockey League. They deserve a chance to get called up.”
Dupuis, who had his first NHL goal Nov. 6 against Dallas, made it a two-goal advantage, taking a feed from John-Michael Liles at the near post and ramming the puck between Mason’s pads. Mason fell across the line because Dupuis was checked into him, but the goal stood after a review.
“We felt that (Mason) got pushed back into the net and under the rules you can’t push a goalie into the net,” Arniel said. “The referee said that he saw the puck (cross the goal line). Our feeling was he was pushed into the net by a Colorado player. The referee said he saw the puck in the net and it’s tough to overrule that.”
Dupuis was a fourth-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2003, but never played for them.
“I’m glad I got one tonight,” Dupuis said. “Nothing against them. I don’t hold any grudges against them.”
The Blue Jackets had a prime opportunity to cut the deficit to 3-2 with 2 minutes left in the second period, but Antoine Vermette missed an open net.
NOTES: Defenceman Ryan O’Byrne, acquired Thursday from Montreal, made his Avalanche debut. … Rick Nash, tied with R.J. Umberger for the Blue Jackets’ goal lead with six, was scratched because of a lower-body injury. … Lyle Odelein dropped the ceremonial first puck. He was the Blue Jackets’ first captain.