In a physical matchup with 35 hits and 39 penalty minutes, the St. Louis Blues managed to edge the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in overall — despite an overall impressive start by Semyon Varlamov. Let’s walk you through it.
Vladimir Tarensenko started the scoring off with a five-hole shot that just squeaked through and slid into the net, getting the Blues on the board just five minutes into the first.
A mere three minutes later, though, the game’s physicality really began to be displayed when a fight occurred between Ian Cole and Vince Dunn (and as stated in the opener, it continued throughout the game).
A late-period Colin Wilson hi-stick would result in a power play opportunity for the St. Louis Blues — and Alexander Steen would make good use of it, scoring on an admittedly nice play.
After the intermission break, Nikita Zadorov would make use of his heavy slap shot to nab the Avs’ first goal of the game. (Side note: in a scrum and slew of penalties at the 3:38 mark Erik Johnson incurred a game misconduct penalty ). The comeback was in jeopardy though when a penalty shot was incurred when Patrik Nemeth slashed Oskar Sundqvist on a breakaway, but Varlamov stood tall and refused to let the puck go in.
Jake Allen mirrored Varlamov later in the period, stopping Landeskog stone cold on a breakaway. At the second intermission the Blues were so far in the game dominating the Avalanche on the shot clock 30-17, and it was clear that if the Avs needed some significant changes in their play if they wanted any hope of salvaging it.
Colorado was able to accomplish just that: in the third they turned the game around, with Mikko Rantanen netting a power play goal early in to tie it up. Not only that, but the Avs finished regulation strong with an impressive 12-5 shot advantage in the third frame.
The game needed an extra period to determine the win — but despite the exciting comeback by Colorado, the St. Louis Blues were the ones who came out on top. Colton Parayko pulled off one of the most amazing plays of the year, and of course it was against the Avalanche, making it hard to appreciate. I feel obliged to show it, here it is:
Overall, a pretty physical and intense game, and at least the Avs were able to get a point out of it. Tough to see the winning streak end, but all goods things must as the saying goes. The third period push was encouraging to see though, and this kind of thing bodes well for the young team in the future.