The Colorado Avalanche needed overtime to come out on top of Jordan Binnington’s heroics for the St. Louis Blues to win 3-2. Two of the standouts came from the defensive depth of the Avs, specifically Sam Girard and Josh Manson.
Girard and Manson scored the second and third goals for the Avs en route to the win. Manson’s first career Stanley Cup playoff goal put the Avs over the top at the end of the night. He joins Cale Makar as a fellow OT goalscorer in this year's playoffs.
Two overtime wins. Two overtime goals by defensemen.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 18, 2022
Josh Manson joined fellow blueliner Cale Makar as the only two @Avalanche players to score an OT winner this postseason. #StanleyCup#NHLStats: https://t.co/KBPHWxeONK pic.twitter.com/qZTpCJ7FMW
His partner, El Tornade, had himself a phenomenal game. He’d gotten some flack this season for some of his performances and struggles on ice. Last night, in the second period, he shut the haters up with a crucial go-ahead goal.
Girard was the top time-on-ice getter outside of the top pairing with 23:16 and was on the ice for the game-winner to jump into Manson’s arms. Sammy G also had a team-leading four blocks and team-leading seven shots on goal.
Circling back to Manson, he recorded 20:42 time on ice with four shots and three hits, his first career playoff game-winning goal, and an assist on Girard’s goal. Manson and Girard were crucial in last night’s affair because the top names couldn’t get much going offensively or defensively.
In the baby-faced assassin, Devon Toews and his partner had one of their worst games as a pair. They only combined for six shots and three hits outside of their zone, both of which Girard and Manson equalized. They were at fault for the first goal off of a turnover and some crazy bounces.
As a unit, they were the main reason the Avs came out on top. After comparing the defense between the Avs and Blues yesterday, the Avalanche are a much deeper team when it comes to their blue-line. That depth proved vital in last night's win.
If we get those Girard and Manson performances the rest of the playoffs, the Avs will be in even better shape than before. It will flow life through the team as it did last night. With five wins down and 11 to go, the number one seed of the Western Conference has its eyes set on the number one spot at the top of the mountain in June by hoisting the Stanley Cup thanks to the help of guys like Girard and Manson.