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Division Rivalry: St. Louis Blues

The Avalanche and Blues have a long history and not just as division foes

by Zach Shapiro / ColoradoAvalanche.com

The rivalry between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues started before the clubs entered the same division at the start of the 2013-14 season. The franchises have played 98 times since they become conference opponents when the Avs moved to Denver in 1995, and Colorado holds a 47-38-13 mark in the series. 

Historically Speaking

If the rivalry between the then conference foes felt forced for the first few seasons, it earned legitimacy in 2001 when the teams battled for a trip to the Stanley Cup Final. The Avalanche won the only ever postseason meeting between the franchises in five games, only losing the third matchup in double-overtime before winning the next two in extra minutes to advance. 

Joe Sakic, who led Colorado with eight points (four goals, four assists), bookended the series by scoring two of his 19 career playoff game-winning goals. In Game 1, he scored the first postseason penalty-shot goal in Avs history in a four-point performance (two goals, two assists). He then tallied the winning goal in overtime of Game 5. Colorado went on to its second appearance in the Stanley Cup Final and claimed its second title after defeating the New Jersey Devils in seven games. 

More Recently

The teams became division foes when the NHL realigned the divisions for the 2013-14 season. That year, the clubs battled for the Central Division title and the Avalanche ultimately edged out the Blues for the division crown on the final day of that season with 112 points (52-22-8), one more point than St. Louis' 111 (52-23-7).

Fast forward to 2017-18, and the rivalry increased when the Avs earned two key late wins over the Blues. After dropping the first three matchups that year against its division opponent, Colorado won 4-1 in St. Louis on March 15 to remain in the postseason hunt. The teams met less than a month later, in Game 82 of the season, for a winner-take-all matchup for a trip to the playoffs. The avs needed a regulation victory and the Blues needed one point to advance to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Gabriel Landeskog recorded three points (one goal, two assists) and Nathan MacKinnon added two more (one goal, one assist), leading the Avs to a 5-2 victory and its first playoff appearance since 2013-14.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues bested the Avalanche in the first two meetings of 2019-20, both in St. Louis. The Blues won the first game 3-1 on Oct. 21 and the second contest 5-2 on Nov. 16. 

Season Series

Oct. 21 @ St. Louis
Dec. 16 @ St. Louis
Jan. 2 @ Colorado
Jan. 18 @ Colorado
April 4 @ Colorado

Past Avs

Joe Sakic recorded 52 points (22 goals, 30 assists) in 42 career games with the Avalanche against St. Louis. Milan Hejduk had 39 points (21 goals, 18 assists) in 50 games versus the Blues, including a six-point game (three goals, three assists) on Dec. 9, 2007. It's the most points any player has recorded against St. Louis since Mario Lemieux had a seven-point game (one goal, five assists) on March 26, 1996. Patrick Roy was 12-9-4 in his Avs career against St. Louis, with a .917 save percentage, tied for the sixth best among goalies who started at least 25 games versus the Blues since 1995-96.

Current Avs

Nathan MacKinnon leads the Avalanche in points against the Blues since 2013-14 with 20 (nine goals, 11 assists) in 27 games. Gabriel Landeskog has 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 30 games against St. Louis. Mikko Rantanen has 11 points (five goals, six assists), including a four-point game on March 15, 2018, one of four outings since 1995 in which an Avalanche player recorded at least four points in a matchup against St. Louis.

The Blues

David Backes, who played for the Blues from 2006-16, has the most points in franchise history against the Avalanche, with 30 (13 goals, 17 assists) in 39 contests. Vladimir Tarasenko has the second most with 25 (12 goals, 13 assists) in 31 games versus Colorado while Alexander Steen has 25 points (10 goals, 15 assists) in 47 games against the Avs. Goaltender Jake Allen has played Colorado 16 times with St. Louis and owns a 9-4-2 record with a .929 save percentage and 2.14 goals-against average.

Other Colorado-St. Louis Notes

Colorado won eight consecutive home games versus St. Louis from Feb. 8, 2010 - April 21, 2013. The Avalanche also won seven straight games against St. Louis from Dec. 7, 2009 - Feb. 22, 2011.

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