The story was all too familiar for the Avalanche tonight. They faced adversity, overcame it, won at home, and lost another player to injury.
Colorado trailed on two separates occasions but came back to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Saturday at the Pepsi Center. Center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare left the game with an injury after taking a hit to the head from Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno.
The Avs trailed 1-0 in the first period but got a power-play goal from Sam Girard to the game. After the Blue Jackets scored again to take a 2-1 lead into the second period, Colorado goaltender Pavel Francouz shut things down, making 23 saves the rest of the way.
The Avalanche got two goals from rookie defenseman Cale Makar to take the lead before forward Nazem Kadri put the game away late in the third after adding a fourth goal.
Makar continues to break records. His two-goal performance tonight was the first by an Avalanche rookie defenseman since the team relocated from Quebec, and just the third time it has happened in franchise history. Makar has four goals, 13 assists, and 17 points this season, which places him tied for third in scoring among NHL defensemen. He also leads all NHL rookies in scoring.
Colorado remains unbeaten in regulation against the Eastern Conference. The Avalanche have played seven games against the Eastern Conference, winning five and losing twice in overtime. Colorado will play its next five games against conference foes before taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs in two weeks as they look to extend their unbeaten streak against the East.
Francouz faces 40 shots for the second time in his career, makes 39 saves. Forced into action in consecutive games because of an injury to starter Philipp Grubauer, Francouz has responded with two wins. On Thursday, Francouz surrendered four goals but received the offensive support necessary to come away with a victory. Tonight, however, he made 39 saves, including a perfect 16-for-16 in the second period, to give Colorado an opportunity to come from behind.
The Avalanche embark on a five-game road trip, starting with division rival Winnipeg Jets at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at the MTS Centre.