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Avalanche blow another early lead, fall to Blues 4-2

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Third periods, uh, haven’t been Colorado’s strong suit of late.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Patrik Berglund would score twice and Calvin Pickard would turn in another mostly-strong performance before ultimately giving up a couple of soft goals that would lead to 4-2 Avalanche loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Colorado got off to another strong start, firing out of the gate and peppering the visiting Blues with a number of high quality shots. Soon, they would even wear down goaltender Jake Allen enough to squeeze one by! After coming away with the puck in their own zone and drawing a delayed penalty on Ryan Reaves, Blake Comeau started it up ice with enough pace to catch St. Louis off-guard. John Mitchell took a Carl Soderberg pass near the blue line, skated down toward the top of the right circle and made a nifty move to get back the center of the ice for a better shooting angle. He loaded up a heavy wrister and fired high glove-side for his third goal of the season. But there was more to the play. Rookie Anton “LaVey” Lindholm, playing in just his fourth NHL game, recognized the delayed penalty opportunity and made a mad dash toward the front of the net to set up the crucial screen that allowed the puck to find the net undetected.

Goal number two would belong the Blues, shortly after a Sven Andrighetto penalty in the second period. While it was still five-on-four, St. Louis dumped it into the corner in the Avalanche zone and David Perron successfully helped his team regain possession. Zach Sanford retrieved the puck, turned around, and sent it back out in front of the goal where Patrik Berglund was able to bury his 20th of the year to tie the game at one almost exactly as the “Mario” sound announced the return to full-strength for Colorado.

Sadly, the third period would look much like the last two games, if not to quite the same extreme. A Blake Comeau interference would give the Blues another advantage; though they would again fail to score, they retained possession long enough in the Colorado zone to set up an Ivan Barbachev shot in the slot that was tipped by Magnus Paajarvi and past Pickard to give the Blues their first lead of the game. Minutes later, Matt Nieto would be called for tripping (starting to notice a pattern here?), extending St. Louis’ momentum that much more. Jaden Schwartz would take advantage, increasing the Blues lead to 3-1. This was, again, shortly after the five-on-four opportunity concluded.

The Avalanche would get one back with 5:10 left in the contest. John Mitchell set up Tyson Barrie from the half-boards, and Barrie ripped a big slap shot wide of the net. It would seem harmless until the puck took an odd bounce to the other side of the net, right to Mark Barberio, who buried the puck on the vacant side before Jake Allen could recover, drawing the game to 2-3.

With less than two minutes remaining, the Avalanche pulled their goalie in a final desperate attempt, but it was all for naught. Patrik Berglund would score his second of the evening on the empty net to seal the Blues’ 4-2 win. The Avalanche fell to 20-49-3 on the season, which is flat-out terrible.