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Grachev, Cracknell, Backes score in Blues' 3-2 win over Avalanche

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DENVER - Evgeny Grachev notched his third goal in four pre-season games, and Adam Cracknell and David Backes added scores to lift the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night.

Grachev scored at 8:06 of the first period. Jamie Langenbrunner backhanded a pass from behind the net to Grachev, who was waiting on the doorstep and poked the puck past goalie Semyon Varlamov.

The Blues added another goal at 5:02 of the third when Cracknell wristed a shot from the centre of the right circle past Varlamov. It was the second goal of the pre-season for Cracknell, who also had the tiebreaking score in St. Louis' 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

The Blues got an empty-netter from Backes with just over 58 seconds remaining on a shot from the blue line following a Colorado turnover. Paul Stastny scored for the Avalanche from up close 13 seconds later, but it wasn't enough and the Avalanche fell to 0-2 in exhibition play. St. Louis improved to 3-1.

The Avalanche were trailing 2-0 at 12:48 of the third period when rookie Tyson Barie ended Jake Allen's shutout bid with a shot from the top of the left circle that went under the goalie's right leg as he dropped to the ice. Barie also scored a goal in the Avalanche's preseason opener, a 5-2 loss in Dallas on Thursday night.

Allen made 23 saves and Varlamov had 22.

Cody McLeod of the Avalanche and the Blues' Ryan Reaves each served a five-minute major for fighting after dropping their gloves at centre ice and pummelling each other with just over 11 seconds remaining in the second period.

Chris Stewart, who starred with Colorado before being sent to St. Louis in a midseason trade last year, did not play.

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