The game marked the return to action for Colorado forward Peter Forsberg, who announced last month he would attempt a comeback. Forsberg has been bothered by foot problems and had not appeared in an NHL game in almost three years.
He signed a contract last Sunday and in his first appearance had one shot in 17 minutes while skating on a line with Matt Duchene and Milan Hejduk.
Colorado has lost eight of its last nine.
The Blue Jackets faced a 1-0 deficit heading into the second period, but took the lead in that stanza on goals by Rick Nash and Derick Brassard.
Derek MacKenzie added an empty-net goal with 4 seconds left in the third. Peter Budaj stopped 29 shots for the Avalanche.