"Finding a way" has coincided with the Avalanche's opening-night motto "Why not us" all season, and Tuesday night the Avs fought hard enough to earn two points at Nationwide Arena.

A fluke third-period goal by Brad Malone and a real nice one by captain Gabe Landeskog erased Columbus' two-goal lead, and Landeskog scored off a fortunate bounce with 32.2 seconds remaining in overtime for an improbable 3-2 victory that stunned a playoff-hopeful Blue Jackets crowd of 16,550.

"We're certainly finding ways to win," said Landeskog, who is on a scoring tear with five goals and seven points in his last four games, "and that's what you have to do at this time of year with home-ice advantage at stake."

Beginning the playoffs in Denver against Chicago is looking more realistic for the Avs, who extended their Central Division lead over the defending Stanley Cup champion to three points. Colorado has seven remaining games; the Blackhawks have six.

The Avs, now a remarkable 14-6 in OT, improved to 4-0 without star center Matt Duchene, who missed the first game of his likely three- or four-week absence with a knee injury. Colorado previously beat Chicago, Phoenix and Los Angeles in November without Duchene, the latter two in OT.

"We changed our culture and we never give up," said Avalanche coach Patrick Roy, whose 102-points team is on pace to finish with the franchise's most points since the Stanley Cup-winning season of 2000-01 (118). "We keep working hard and we believe in ourselves, and I think it's one of the reasons we came back in this game."

Colorado improved to 48-21-6, including 23-10-3 on the road.