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.
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.
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
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.
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
Tory Krug - Justin Faulk
Marco Scandella - Colton Parayko
Niko Mikkola - Robert Bortuzzo
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.
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 #stlblues are dealing with multiple positive COVID-19 tests that they hope/believe are false positives. Says GM Doug Armstrong in statement: "We have been in touch with and are working with the league to address these discrepancies with additional testing."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 19, 2021
The staff will update this post as more information comes available prior to game time.
Vladimir Tarasenko is not on the ice for morning skate for the Blues.