The Colorado Avalanche come into St. Louis and sweep away the St. Louis Blues in the first round by winning 5-2 Sunday afternoon. The big line showed up to play today, with Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Gabriel Landeskog all getting on the score sheet.
The Avs fly out of the first round leaving the Blues heading to the golf course for the summer, and looking to do the same against either the Vegas Golden Knights or Minnesota Wild in the second round starting as early as later this week.
The first period was very similar to Friday night’s first period. Both teams started by feeling one another out, matching each other’s moves.
That would not last long though, as the Avs started to push the pressure a little more. It didn’t come without consequences though, as Alex Newhook took a funny fall into the corner boards and left for the room. He wouldn’t return to the game.
The Avs pressure was strong, with Andre Burakovsky and Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare getting stopped by Jordan Binnington.
The Blues were strong defensively and would not go away quietly. Rantanen would also commit a tripping penalty that carried over to the second period.
After killing off the penalty that carried over from the first period was killed off, the Avs made sure to give Binnington some work to do. It was looking ever clearer that the first goal of the game would be crucial to either team.
For St. Louis, it would fall in their lap as Vladimir Tarasenko got a breakaway and beat Grubauer to make it 1-0.
The Avs would come back though, not flustered by going down. On a power play, Brandon Saad would connect from the slot and make honors even at one apiece.
The Avs would continue to keep the momentum rolling. It would earn them the lead when Landeskog tipped a Sam Girard shot up high and give the good guys a 2-1 advantage heading into the final frame.
Things got off to the best start possible in the period, when MacKinnon would lead a rush down the ice on a 2v1 with Rantanen who put it five-hole on Binnington to make it 3-1.
However, St. Louis wouldn’t go away quietly. After Tyson Jost took a high-sticking penalty, Tarasenko would get his second goal of the game and make things close 3-2.
Both goaltenders stayed strong, keeping their team in the game and keeping it a one-goal game. The Blues did everything they could, but their run would come short when Mike Hoffman high-sticked MacKinnon for a double-minor.
It lead to two empty net power play goals for MacKinnon and Val Nichushkin respectively, make it 5-2, and advance to the second round.
The Avalanche sweep an opponent in the playoffs for the fourth time in franchise history. The Avs were far superior to their opponent, took care of business, and worked their way into the second round of the playoffs for the third straight year.
The Avalanche, dating back to the end of the regular season, have now won nine straight games. Whoever ends up coming out of the Vegas/Minnesota series should be scared facing such a hot team, especially with extra days rest.
Another fun fact to come from this game is that Grubauer now has more postseason points in these playoffs than Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers after his assist on the Saad goal this afternoon.
The Avs will travel back to Denver to wait for an opponent between the Vegas Golden Knights and Minnesota Wild to host in the second round. Vegas can clinch the series Monday night at home against the Wild, puck drop for that game is 8:30 p.m. MT.