The Colorado Avalanche were the final undefeated team in the NHL this season, and only lost in regulation for the first time tonight in St. Louis. In game five of a six game, cross country road trip, the Avs were only able to take 18 shots and score one goal against the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues as they fell 3-1.
The first ten minutes were mostly back and forth between the two teams, but the Blues got on the board first. Ian Cole was sent to the box for interference and St. Louis made the most of the opportunity. After a shot was blocked just 30 second into their power play, Jaden Schwartz corralled the rebound and sent it to Vladimir Tarasenko. He passed to Vince Dunn who fed Brayden Schenn just behind the center of the two circles. Schenn’s shot went over Philipp Grubauer’s stick and into the back of the net.
Colorado evened the score two and a half minutes later, when Nathan MacKinnon scored just 23 seconds into the Avs next power play. Mikko Rantanen got the puck at the goal line and passed it to Cale Makar. Makar’s pass wan’t accepted cleanly by MacKinnon who skated around a bit to control the puck before launching a wrist shot from behind the red dots into the side of the net.
Rantanen suffered a nasty looking injury when he fell and his left ankle twisted in a way that ankles aren’t meant to bend. He only played 43 seconds of the second period. He didn’t play in the third period either. The extent of the injury is unknown at this point.
Tarasenko picked up his second assist of the game when he and Justin Falk teamed up for David Perron’s fifth goal of the season, just five minutes into the second period. On a delayed penalty, the Blues passed the puck around before Perron fired a shot from dead center to give the blues the lead back.
The Blues padded their lead 10 minutes later when Tarasenko scored his third point of the game. Schwartz and Colton Parayko got the puck behind the net before Tarasenko put it in past Grubauer from the right side.
This wasn’t a pretty end to the game. In the final 20 minutes, the Avs only took eight shots on goal, but held the Blues to even fewer, with only five.
Colorado only won 38% of the faceoffs during the game, as St. Louis took the remaining 62%.
Grubauer played 58:01 as the Avs went with the empty net for a bit towards the end of the game. He faced 25 shots, saving 25.
Samuel Girard logged the most ice time of the defensemen with 21:54, and MacKinnon led the offense with 22:30.
- The Avs will complete their road trip with a stop in Las Vegas to face the Golden Knights on Thursday at 4 p.m. MT.
- Mikko Rantanen’s injury has not been announced yet, we expect an update on Wednesday. So far it’s just being called a lower body injury.
Day off tomorrow for the Avs. Rantanen update was expected (LBI but no timeline). Likely waiting until Wednesday for a real update. Keep an eye on the AHL transaction wire tomorrow afternoon for clues.— AJ Haefele (@AJHaefele) October 22, 2019