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Colorado Avalanche Game Day - Giving St. Louis the Blues

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The Colorado Avalanche took a series lead after a strong game one performance. Can they keep home ice advantage and grasp a firm hold on the series tonight at Ball Arena?

St Louis Blues v Colorado Avalanche - Game One Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche took a 1-0 series advantage in their first round matchup with the St. Louis Blues with a 4-1 victory Monday night. Colorado was all over St. Louis, forcing Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington into a busy night, peppering the St. Louis goal with 50 shots.

Colorado Avalanche

Three point games from Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog paced the offense for Colorado in game one, while Cale Makar and Sam Girard each added points from the blue-line. It was a comprehensive performance from Colorado and they will need another tonight to grab control of this series.

Philipp Grubauer looked strong in net, allowing only one goal on 23 shots in the previous matchup, and should be back between the pipes tonight.

Alex Newhook made his playoff debut on the fourth line and held his own in limited minutes and is expected to remain in coach Jared Bednar’s lineup for tonight.

Projected Lineups

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Andre Burakovsky - Tyson Jost - Joonas Donskoi

Valeri Nichushkin - Nazem Kadri - Brandon Saad

Alex Newhook - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - J.T. Compher

Defenders

Devon Toews - Cale Makar

Samuel Girard - Ryan Graves

Patrik Nemeth - Conor Timmins

St. Louis Blues

Despite former Avalanche and current Blues centerman Ryan O’Reilly’s prediction of a St. Louis series win, it looks like he may have bitten off a little more than his teammates can chew, as the Blues looked thoroughly outmatched in game one. With David Perron set to miss tonight’s matchup as well, St. Louis is missing a key piece of their top line and power play.

Look for St. Louis to try to further muck up the neutral zone and try to counter the Avalanche rush. The Blues will likely need to execute their game plan perfectly and get some serious puck luck if they are going to bounce back in game two.

Projected Lineups

Forwards

Jaden Schwartz - Ryan O’Reilly - Brady Schenn

Ivan Barbashev - Tyler Bozak - Vladimir Tarasenko

Mike Hoffman - Robert Thomas - Jordan Kyrou

Kyle Clifford - Zach Sanford - Sammy Blais

Defenders

Tory Krug - Justin Faulk

Marco Scandella - Colton Parayko

Niko Mikkola - Robert Bortuzzo

Goaltending

The goaltending matchups from game one should hold for this matchup; with Grubauer (1-0-0, 1.00, .957) taking on Binnington (0-0-1, 3.04, .939). Despite taking the loss, Binnington played extremely well for the first two periods, before getting overwhelmed by Colorado’s top line in the third period. Grubauer also had a strong game, with the only goal allowed coming on an odd-man rush for St. Louis.

**UPDATE**

It looks like the Blues have more potential positive tests beyond Perron. There is some speculation that the positive tests MAY be false-positives. Blues GM Doug Armstrong is in constant contact with the NHL and testing facility in hopes of keeping tonight’s game two on as scheduled.

The staff will update this post as more information comes available prior to game time.

*Second Update:*

Vladimir Tarasenko is not on the ice for morning skate for the Blues.