Game 3 Recap: Avalanche Blow Past Blues in 5-2 Win

Back with the series lead. 

The Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Game 3 of the Second Round Series of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Saturday night at Enterprise Center. The Avalanche now leads the series 2-1.  

Artturi Lehkonen scored twice including an empty netter, while Logan O’Connor, Nazem Kadri (1G, 1A), and Gabriel Landeskog scored. Darcy Kuemper made 29 saves on 31 shots in the victory.

For St. Louis, Colton Parayko, Ryan O’Reilly (1G, 1A) scored. Jordan Binnington made 3 saves on as many shots during 6:45 minutes. After sustaining a first-period injury, Ville Husso took over in net and made 19 saves on 23 shots throughout 51:43 minutes. 

Video: Kadri nets 2 point night in a 5-2 Game 3 victory


REGULATION SUMMARY:

After St. Louis evened the series up 1-1 following Game 2, Game 3 featured a tight-checking, low shooting battle between clubs, with the Avalanche pulling away victorious courtesy of a two-goal effort in the second period. 

From the get go, the first period set the tone for a chippy contest. Both teams drew first-period strikes to enter the first intermission tied at a 1-1 score. 

Shortly after Avalanche defenseman Samuel Giard left the game – on his first shift of 56 seconds – just two minutes into play as a result of getting boarded by Ivan Barbashev, St. Louis provided the game’s icebreaker on their third shot of the period at 3:55. O’Reilly won an offensive zone faceoff that dropped back to Parayko at the point. The St. Louis blueliner blasted his one-timer to the far side and past Kuemper’s stick to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead. 

With a 1-0 lead, St. Louis suffered a loss in the lineup as Binnington left the game after just 6:45 minutes. After making an initial stop and the puck loose in the crease, a collision between Nazem Kadri, Calle Rosen and Binnington resulted in the Blues netminder heading to the dressing room. 

Video: COL@STL, Gm3: O’Connor nets a shot in tight to net

The Blues, who entered Game 3 with a 66.7% power play conversion after going 2-for-3 on the man advantage throughout the first two games, failed to convert on a Josh Manson roughing penalty at 8:48. As the penalty expired and Manson exited the box, he grabbed down a slick chip up ice by Darren Helm and fed O’Connor. O’Connor made a backhand-to-forehand move and lifted his shot over Husso’s glove for the equalizer at 10:57. 

The Avs pulled away in the second period with two strikes from Kadri and Lehkonen, but the Blues trimmed the deficit down 3-2 with a late goal from O’Reilly. Colorado was awarded its first power play of the game at 11:32 as Pavel Buchnevich was called for interference on Manson as the Blues were on a power play. After 23 seconds of 4-on-4, the Avs power play was unable to convert, but just as their power play expired they converted. Cale Makar fired off a one timer from distance and Kadri redirected the puck off his stick to give Colorado the 2-1 go-head goal. 

The Avs extended their lead 3-1 at 17:15 as Lehkonen jetted up ice on an odd-man rush. The Finnish winger wired his shot past Husso’s right elbow. 

Video: COL@STL, Gm3: Lehkonen fires home puck on a 2 on 1

Colorado’s two-goal lead was trimmed down to one goal with just 30 seconds left in the frame. Kuemper batted down a Nick Leddy shot, but O’Reilly swooped in and buried the rebound for the Blues. 

Both teams jockeyed in a tight-checking third period, but the Avalanche held off the Blues. Late in the frame as Husso was heading to the bench for the empty net, the Avs capitalized on a play and Nathan MacKinnon sprinted up ice. With Husso frantically backskating into his crease, MacKinnon fed a streaking Landeskog who tapped in the pass to bump Colorado’s lead 4-2 at 17:52. After the goal, St. Louis pulled Husso in exchange for the extra skater, the Avs then extended their lead 5-2 as Lehkonen buried an empty-net goal. 


IN NET:

Kuemper made 12 saves on 13 shots in the first period including covering a shot from the neutral zone that Blues forward Buchnevich ripped four minutes into the opening frame. 

In the second period, the Avalanche netminder made nine saves on 10 shots. He came up with two big stops in the second period as he denied Jordan Kyrou on a partial breakaway and then a Vladimir Tarasenko one timer.

During the final frame, Kuemper made eight saves. He came up with a timely stop right from the get-go as he made a pad save on Robert Thomas in tight two minutes into the period. 


NOTEWORTHY:
  • O’Connor returned to the lineup for the first time since Game 4 of the First Round and scored his first goal of the postseason. 
  • Kadri’s goal marked his second goal of the playoffs. 
  • Lehkonen scored his third and fourth goals of the postseason. 
  • Landeskog scored his fifth goal of the playoffs. 
  • Colorado finished the game 0-for-1 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. 
  • Nico Sturm, Jack Johnson, Alex Newhook, Ryan Murray and Kurtis MacDermid were scratches for Colorado. 
  • Update on Samuel GirardAfter the first period, the team announced that Girard sustained an upper-body injury and was taken to a local hospital for further evaluation.

NEXT GAME:

The Second Round series between the Avalanche and Blues continues in St. Louis with Game 4 on Monday night at Enterprise Center. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT. 

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