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Rapid Recap: Avalanche 7, Blues 3

Balanced offense leads Colorado past division-rival St. Louis

by Ron Knabenbauer @RonKnab / ColoradoAvalanche.com

Nathan MacKinnon (one goal, three assists) and Samuel Girard (four assists) both had four-point nights, and the Colorado Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 7-3 on Thursday at Pepsi Center.

MacKinnon opened the scoring with a breakaway goal late in the first period, while Nazem Kadri added two markers for his third multi-goal game of the season. Cale Makar, J.T. Compher, Joonas Donskoi and Mikko Rantanen also tallied for Colorado. Makar also had a multi-point outing, registering an assist on Rantanen's power-play tally that gave the Avs a 3-2 advantage in the second period.

The Blues scored back-to-back goals midway through the second frame to cut the Avs' lead to 3-2, but Colorado responded with four straight to secure the victory.

The Avs tallied a season-high three times on the power play.

Colorado goaltender Philipp Grubauer stopped 24 shots in the win.

Statistics | Photo Gallery | Highlights | Notes & Quotes | Video: Coach Bednar Postgame

THE GOALS

1st Period
19:49 COL (1-0) - After stealing the puck in the defensive zone, Nathan MacKinnon scored on a breakaway after a deke and placing the puck over the glove of Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.

2nd Period
3:20 COL (2-0) - Nazem Kadri tallied from a tough angle at the left corner after Samuel Girard's shot rebounded out to him.
7:41 COL (3-0) - PPG, with one second left on 5-on-3 power play, Mikko Rantanen's found the open net with a wrister after getting a cross-ice pass from Cale Makar.
12:42 STL (3-1) - Robert Thomas scored on a wraparound.
16:19 STL (3-2) - PPG, Alex Pietrangelo found the back of the net with a slap shot off a faceoff win by Ryan O'Reilly.
19:44 COL (4-2) - PPG, Cale Makar's wrist shot from the high slot found twine.

3rd Period
6:56 COL (5-2) - Nazem Kadri buried a one-timer from the right circle after getting a pass from Samuel Girard.
12:05 COL (6-2) - PPG, J.T. Compher cleaned up the puck in the crease after Gabriel Landeskog's shot was stopped initially.
14:19 COL (7-2) - Joonas Donskoi tallied with a one-time shot from the left circle.
16:14 STL (7-3) - Robert Thomas scored his second of the game late.

Final: Avalanche - 7 | Blues - 3

3 STARS

  1. Nathan MacKinnon (COL): Tied a season high with four points (one goal, three assists)
  2. Samuel Girard (COL): Recorded a career high four points (all assists)
  3. Nazem Kadri (COL): Scored twice

Selected by Colorado Hockey Coach of the Game: Josh McIntosh (Rampart High School)

POWER PLAYS

Colorado: 3 for 5
St. Louis: 1 for 3

GOALTENDING BATTLE

Colorado: Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves on 27 shots in the win.
St. Louis: Jordan Binnington started the game and allowed seven goals on 41 shots before being replaced in net with 5:41 remaining in the contest. Jake Allen finished the night and stopped the only shot he faced.

STAT OF THE NIGHT

The Big G: Samuel Girard had four assists to record a new career high for points and assists in a game. It was the first time in Girard's NHL career that he registered back-to-back, multi-point performances after he had two helpers in Colorado's previous game on Tuesday against Winnipeg.

NOTEBOOK

The Avalanche picked up its 24th win of the season and now have 52 points in the 2019-20 campaign, matching the sixth-most points and third-most wins at the midway point of the season in Avs history… Colorado scored seven or more goals for the fourth time this season, tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for the second-most in the league… The Avs finished with 42 shots on goal, the fourth straight game they have put 40 or more shots on net. It's the first time in franchise history that the Avs have recorded 40-plus shots in four-straight contests… The Avs finished 3-for-5 on the power play, the second straight game they have tallied multiple goals with the man advantage and the first since Jan. 4, 2019 vs. New York Rangers (3 PPG)… Colorado's 22 shots in the second period are a season high for a period and its most in a single frame since Dec. 31, 2017 vs. New York Islanders (23 shots, 2nd period)… Cale Makar (one goal, one assist) recorded his sixth multi-point performance of the season and now has 31 points this year, surpassing Pierre Lacroix (30 points) for fourth place in franchise history for scoring by a rookie defenseman. Makar's 31 points are second most by a first-year blueliner since the team moved to Denver, two shy of John-Michael Liles' record of 34 during the 2003-04 season… His second-period goal was his ninth of the season, matching Lacroix for second place in franchise history in goals by a rookie defenseman and one marker away from equaling John-Michael Liles' franchise record of 10 goals…Makar is the first defenseman to record his first 30 career regular-season points in 33 games or fewer since Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom in 1991-92 (33 GP)… Nathan MacKinnon recorded four points (1g/3a), the fourth time this season he has tallied four or more points in a contest… MacKinnon surpassed the 60-point mark for the fourth time in his career. Only Joe Sakic (10 times), Peter Forsberg (6), Milan Hejduk (5), Paul Stastny (4) and Alex Tanguay (4) have reached the 60-point mark in four or more campaigns… Joonas Donskoi tallied his 14th goal of the season to equal his career high he's reached in each of the last two seasons.

QUOTABLE

Nathan MacKinnon on the win: "Something just kind of felt different tonight, like when they tied it up or they made it 3-2 or whatever it was, there was no panic. I think Cale had a big goal with 10 seconds left in the second and that kind of iced it. So no panic, I think that's what we found. We needed some maturity from everybody, and we had that tonight."

BIG HIGHLIGHT

Video: STL@COL: MacKinnon beats Binnington on breakaway

IMAGE OF THE GAME

 

ROSTER REPORT

The Avalanche began the game with new forward combinations on three of its lines. Matt Calvert, Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin made up one trio, while Matt Nieto and Mikko Rantanen were a part of a J.T. Compher-centered group. Colorado's fourth line included Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Andre Burakovsky and Tyson Jost… Goaltender Philipp Grubauer started for a third straight game… Mark Barberio and Vladislav Kamenev were the healthy scratches.

INJURY UPDATE

Colin Wilson (lower body) is out indefinitely after having surgery.

UP NEXT

The Avalanche heads to the New York metropolitan area to play three games in four days against Eastern Conference opponents. Colorado begins the trip by taking on the New Jersey Devils on Saturday in Newark before playing at the New York Islanders and New York Rangers in a back-to-back set on Monday and Tuesday.

LINE COMBINATIONS

Based on the start of the game
Forwards
92 Gabriel Landeskog - 29 Nathan MacKinnon - 72 Joonas Donskoi
13 Valeri Nichushkin - 91 Nazem Kadri - 11 Matt Calvert
83 Matt Nieto - 37 J.T. Compher - 96 Mikko Rantanen
17 Tyson Jost - 41 Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - 95 Andre Burakovsky

Defensemen
27 Ryan Graves - 8 Cale Makar
49 Samuel Girard - 6 Erik Johnson
16 Nikita Zadorov - 28 Ian Cole

Goaltenders
31 Philipp Grubauer
39 Pavel Francouz

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