Colorado tied the game on Jan Hejda's slap shot with 41 seconds remaining in regulation and then survived the shootout to win its second straight. The Avalanche split their first two games of the campaign while scoring only one goal.
The point earned by the Blue Jackets was their first of the season. They had lost their first three games in regulation.
It was a 1-1 contest heading into the third period but Columbus took the lead 1:16 into the stanza on a goal by Radek Martinek.
The shootout began promisingly for the Blue Jackets when Rick Nash opened with a goal. He had scored the first Columbus goal of the night in the second period.
Varlamov was credited with 31 saves and Steve Mason stopped 30 shots for the Blue Jackets.