NHL: Columbus 5, Colorado 2

April 6, 2012 at 12:11 AM
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DENVER, April 6 (UPI) -- The second goal of the game by Rick Nash put Columbus in front early in the second period Thursday and the Blue Jackets wiped out Colorado's playoff hopes 5-2.

The Avalanche had only a slight chance of making the playoffs when the night began, and that chance disappeared when Columbus scored the game's final three goals.

With both Colorado and Dallas having been eliminated from post-season contention Thursday, the last of the Western Conference playoff teams were determined.

Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose all wrapped up a berth in the post-season, leaving no playoff spots to be settled determined during Saturday's final day of the regular season.

Nash gave Columbus a 2-1 lead late in the opening period, but Paul Stastny tied it early in the second on the power play.

Nash's go-ahead goal also came on the power play and was followed by two scores from Cam Atkinson that finished off the first hat trick of his career. Atkinson opened the scoring 6:35 into the game.

Steve Mason made 35 saves in the win. Semyon Varlamov stopped 23-of-27 shots for Colorado.

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