ST. LOUIS (AP) – Andre Burakovsky. Brandon Saad and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare added goals as the Colorado Avalanche clinched a playoff berth with a 4-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on .
“It shows a lot of team character,” Burakovsky said. “We’re not making a lot of mistakes. We’re chipping in when we need to. We’re working down low, and we’re successful that way. Any time you put your skates on, you have to come out and compete.”
Colorado improved to 18-1-2 in its last 21 games. The Avalanche are 8-1-0 in April after finishing a league-best 12-2-3 in March, setting franchiseand points in a month. The Avalanche are 5-1-0 against the Blues this . “We today,” Burakovsky said. “That may be why we won the game.” The Avalanche returned to the ice for the first time since April 14, . They had three to COVID-19 protocols.
“It was a real good game for us for being the first back,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “Pretty happy to get that result. It was a hard-fought, close hockey game. A good all-around effort. I’m pretty happy with it.”
Since March 5, the Blues have posted a 5-11-4 record. The fifth-place Blues are one point behind the Coyotes for the finalin the West Division. Arizona has played three more games.
Colorado goalie Devan Dubnyk recorded 23 saves. Dubnyk arrived in a. Dubnyk has won three of his last four starts against the Blues, with the Sharks.
Jaden Schwartz scored both goals for St. Louis. Jordan Binnington had 25 saves.
Burakovsky gave Colorado a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal at 6:45 of the. After the puck bounced off the boards, Burakovsky tapped past Binnington, Cale Makar, and Nathan MacKinnon, each assisted. MacKinnon extended his point streak to 12 .
“He was skating hard right out of the gate,” Bednar said about Burakovsky. “It looked like he had great legs. He was hungry on the forecheck. I thought he came out with thethe MacKinnon line demands in skating and being tenacious on pucks. It was a real good effort by him in his first game on that line.”
Burakovsky added his second goal, the eventual winner, at 11:29 of the third period, scoring from the right faceoff circle. “That goal by them there in the third period was tough to give up,” Schwartz said. “This was not the result we wanted today. We’ve got to regroup and look at some stuff.”
The Blues cut the lead to 3-2 when Schwartz scored 13:43.
The Avalanche added an empty-net goal by Bellemare at 18:29.
Each team scored in the first period.
The Blues took a 1-0 on a power-play goal by Schwartz at 3:18. Schwartz one-timed the puck by Dubnyk for his first goal in 18 games.
A turnover by Zach Sanford that Colorado cashed in at 19:28 tied the game 1-1. Saad got a pass in the slot while standing alone and scored on a backhand shot from in front.
“We have a lot of veterans on this team that has won and have won a championship, and we’ve got to have more composure in our game. That’s the bottom line,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “Things are going to happen out there that are out of your control, but we’re not controlling what we can control. The mistakes we make that get put in our net that’s all on us. That’s on us.
BACK ON THE ICE
G Philipp Grubauer, RW Joonas Donskoi, who has 15 goals, and RW, who ranks second in the NHL with 26 goals, are on the COVID-19 protocol list. D Bowen Byram has exited protocol and rejoined the club.
St. Louis F Robert Thomas (upper-body injury) remained out and has missed fourhe got hurt on April 9 against Minnesota. He participated in the morning skate and is expected to play Saturday.
Bednar coached his 360th game with Avalanche, passing Bob Hartley for most in Colorado history. He is second to Quebec’s Michel Bergeron (634) in franchise history.
After being reacquired by Colorado on April 9, D Patrik Nemeth made hiswith the Avalanche. Nemeth missed the team’s past three contests while recovering from a minor upper-body injury. Colorado sent its fourth-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft to the for Nemeth before the trade deadline.
Colorado D Conor Timmins (recalled from AHL) returned to the active roster. He had been sent down on April 15.
The Avalanche and Blues meet Saturday afternoon again.
More AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL://apnews.com/hub/NHL
Sign up for Daily Newsletters
Copyright © 2021 The, LLC.