DENVER (KDVR) — The Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 3-2 to win the best-of-seven series 4-2 and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

Darren Helm scored with 5.6 seconds left and Darcy Kuemper stopped 17 shots as the Colorado Avalanche finished off their second-round series over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6.

J.T. Compher scored twice for Colorado. The Avalanche had been eliminated in the second round each of the past three years. Colorado opens the series against Edmonton on Tuesday night in Denver. Jordan Kyrou and Justin Faulk scored for St. Louis. and Ville Husso made 36 saves. On the winning goal, Helm scored off a drive from the faceoff circle.

The Blues forced a Game 6 of the series back to their home ice at Enterprise Center by rallying back in Game 5 at Ball Arena from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime and keep their postseason alive.

The Avalanche took the commanding lead of the series 3-1 after Nazem Kadri scored a hat trick to dominate the 6-3 Game 4 win in St. Louis.

“It’s starting to look like you’re either the hammer or the nail in the series, so we have to go and be the hammer,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said prior to Game 6. “We have to keep moving forward and pressing and forcing them into mistakes. But it starts with the competitiveness and the puck decisions. As the game went on, (the Blues) had a little bit extra in the battle, we didn’t, and our puck decisions were not good.”

Avalanche’s last appearance in Western Conference Finals

Colorado lost to the Detroit Red Wings in seven games in the 2002 Western Conference Finals, after winning the Stanley Cup the previous season. Avs general manager Joe Sakic was the captain of that Stanley Cup-winning team alongside hall of fame teammates Rob Blake, Peter Forsberg and Patrick Roy.

Colorado will play Edmonton for Stanley Cup Final spot

The Edmonton Oilers knocked out the Calgary Flames with a 5-4 overtime Game 5 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday to win the best-of-seven second-round series. The Oilers will start on the road against the Avalanche since the Avs finished with the better regular-season record.