The Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues in the second round-robin game of the Stanley Cup Qualifiers with a score of 2-1. Colorado are the current leaders of the four Western Conference round-robin teams with two points (1-0-0 record). Here’s a recap of the Avalanche-Blues round-robin game.
There was definitely an avalanche during this period because Colorado made their presence known to the defending champions. The Aves were able to establish their physicality part of their game on their back checks and hits. Their offense was still superb both on 5-on-5 and the power play. However, the Blues are the defending champions for a reason. They never gave in to the Avalanche’s onslaught. Aves captain Gabriel Landeskog was called for an interference penalty and oh did the Blues go to work on their power play. It only took them 19 seconds to get a goal thanks to forward David Perron despite the Aves’ controlling the game thus far. The Aves also outshot the Blues 16-4 yet they couldn’t seem to score.
St. Louis went into the second period with a 1-0 lead.
It was a tough battle between both teams as none of them could seem to gain any solid momentum. There were five penalties called with St. Louis getting called for three of them. This was also a good time for both teams to work on their special teams. Both teams also had great scoring chances and threw lots of hits. Through all of that, the Blues were able to outshoot the Avalanche 13-10 during this period.
St. Louis held onto their 1-0 lead heading into the third period.
Even though the Blues had a one goal lead, the game was still up for grabs. Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves tied the game up at the 14:27 mark of the period after fanning a pass intended for forward Mikko Rantanen. However, the Blues were able to shift the momentum a little bit after Graves’ goal. The Blues had all the momentum going for them until there was 0.1 seconds left in the game.
Final Two Minutes
Blues forward Alex Steen was called for a hooking penalty with just under two minutes left in the game. This gave the Avalanche a power play to potentially end the game. With 40 seconds left, Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon took an open shot, but Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington made the save. Colorado had more scoring opportunities but were all saved by Binnington. With nine seconds left, MacKinnon’s shot was deflected off the glass, Landeskog retrieved the puck and passed it to defenseman Cale Makar. He then passed it back to MacKinnon and he made another pass to Landeskog and shot the puck off the post. But, with 0.1 seconds left, Aves forward Nazem Kadri, who had an open net not that long ago, shot the puck into the net.
The Avalanche won the game 2-1 getting a goal a tenth of a second left thanks to Kadri.
If Game 1 of the Canadiens-Penguins series was heart-wrenching, seeing this game made jaws drop. It’s not common that a hockey goal is being scored with a tenth of a second left, let alone a buzzer-beater. Both teams are great in their own respects, but the finish from Kadri topped off this game perfectly.
Three Stars of the Game
Third Star: Jordan Binnington (36 saves)
Second Star: Nazem Kadri (Game winning goal)
First Star: Philipp Grubauer (31 saves)
Colorado will be playing the Dallas Stars on Aug. 5 at 6:30 EST. St. Louis will be playing the Vegas Golden Knights on Aug. 6 at 6:30 pm EST.