ST. LOUIS (KDVR) — Five different Colorado Avalanche players scored goals and Philipp Grubauer stopped 18 shots to eliminate the St. Louis Blues from the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Sunday.
St. Louis right-wing Vladimir Tarasenko scored the first goal of the game on a breakaway pass from Ryan O’Reilly at 4:25 of the second period. Brandon Saad wristed one past Jordan Binnington on a power play to even the game at 11:37. Gabriel Landeskog redirected a shot from Samuel Girard to take the lead 2-1 at 14:53.
Mikko Rantanen made it 3-1 less than five minutes into the third period. Tarasenko scored a power-play goal to pull the Blues within one at 8:39.
Nathan MacKinnon and Valeri Nichushkin ended the game with empty net goals for a 5-2 final.
The Blues were without defensemen Justin Faulk and Robert Bortuzzo. Both were injured in Game 2 at Ball Arena. Faulk took a hit to the head by Nazem Kadri, costing Kadri an eight-game suspension.
St. Louis’ top scorer, David Perron did not play in the entire series after being placed on the COVID protocol list days before Game 1.
The Avalanche will face the winner of the Vegas Golden Knights/Minnesota Wild series with Vegas up 3-1 in the series.
Colorado split the regular season series 4-3-1 with the Golden Knights. The club beat the Wild five times with two losses and one overtime loss in the regular season.