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game recap

Blues top Avalanche in shootout, move into second in Central Division

Kerfoot ties it in final minute for Colorado, which increases lead in wild-card race

by Louie Korac / NHL.com Correspondent

O'Reilly's shootout tally

COL@STL: O'Reilly beats Grubauer in shootout

Ryan O’Reilly skates in and beats Philipp Grubauer on the blocker side to give the Blues a 1-0 lead in the shootout

  • 00:23 •

ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues moved into second place in the Central Division after recovering for a 3-2 shootout win against the Colorado Avalanche at Enterprise Center on Monday.

St. Louis (43-28-8), which has won two straight and is 7-1-1 in its past nine games, is tied in points with the Nashville Predators but has one more regulation/overtime win. Each team has three games remaining and is two points behind the Winnipeg Jets for first place.

The Blues were last in the NHL on Jan. 2 (15-18-4) but have gone 28-10-4 since.

"Obviously, it's been a great run with all the stuff we have (went through) during this year," Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko said. "It's really good and I'm really proud of everyone on this team, how we went from last place in the League. There's still a lot of stuff to play for. There's no time to rest and hang on to this success. We need to improve this and keep going."

 

[WATCH: All Avalanche vs. Blues highlights]

 

Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for his 22nd win, tying Jake Allen (2014-15) for the most by a rookie in Blues history.

Colorado (36-29-14), which is 6-0-2 in its past eight games, leads the Arizona Coyotes by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Philipp Grubauer made 25 saves.

"I'm happy to get a point," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "I wish we had two, but pretty happy to come into a really tough building against a real good team and get a point here tonight. It'll be a big point."

St. Louis won all four games against Colorado, the first time it has swept a season series against the Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques since 1991-92.

Gabriel Landeskog cut it to 2-1 at 6:30 of the third period with a deflection of Patrik Nemeth's initial shot, and Alexander Kerfoot tied it 2-2 with 47 seconds remaining after the Avalanche pulled Grubauer for the extra skater.

"It was just kind of a desperation play, but I know obviously the puck went out of the zone and guys did a good job regrouping quickly," Kerfoot said. "I think it was kind of a blown coverage by them a little bit and [Landeskog] did a good job getting it to the net, and I just got a stick on it."

Video: COL@STL: Kerfoot ties game on clutch deflection

The Blues were stuck in their zone for an extended amount of time before clearing the puck out of the zone, where it was taken at center ice by Nathan MacKinnon and quickly brought back in.

"It's tough to change everybody there because a guy like MacKinnon, he gets back on the offense so quick," Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo said. "It's not much of shot. It's a good tip play. [Binnington's] got no chance on that. We've just got to find a way to be a little bit tighter at the change."

Tyler Bozak appeared to score for St. Louis 1:40 into the first period, but Bednar challenged for offside, and the call was reversed after a video review.

Jaden Schwartz gave the Blues a 1-0 lead at 7:07 of the first period after redirecting Oskar Sundqvist's centering pass.

Tarasenko scored 14 seconds into the third period to make it 2-0, getting to a rebound at the left post and beating Grubauer short side.

Video: COL@STL: Tarasenko strikes quickly in 3rd to pad lead

Ryan O'Reilly scored the only goal of the shootout in the second round for St. Louis.

"Yeah, it's a good win," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "Had a good first period, second period not so good, just unforced errors, and then the third period was pretty good. Unfortunately, let them tie it up, but we're in a good spot."

 

They said it

"Obviously, a huge, huge point for us, but we needed two. A little inconsistency today. The first period wasn't really great and then the second period and the last period, we played unbelievable. So it was good." -- Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer

"I'm very appreciative of that. I've been fortunate to play a lot of games here in the final stretch of the season. Just to be recognized like that is pretty special. I'm excited. I'm happy with this organization and this team, so we're just going to keep working, keep our heads down, and stay composed." -- Blues goalie Jordan Binnington on tying Jake Allen's rookie record for wins

 

Need to know

Colorado's first shot on goal came with 5:13 remaining in the first period. ... Tarasenko scored his 209th NHL goal, passing Keith Tkachuk for fifth place in Blues history. ... With the Avalanche getting a point, the Edmonton Oilers were eliminated from playoff contention. ... Linesman Tim Nowak officiated his final NHL game. He officiated 1,843 games in the regular season and playoffs.

 

What's next

Avalanche: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, SNW, NHL.TV)

Blues: At the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVAS)

Video: O'Reilly, Blues recover in shootout to down Avalanche

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