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game recap

Blues score three times in second period, hold off Avalanche

Stastny gets goal, assist to help send Colorado to third straight loss

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

DENVER -- Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist to help the St. Louis Blues defeat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 at Pepsi Center on Thursday.

Rookie forward Alexander Kerfoot had two goals and an assist for the Avalanche (4-4-0), who have lost three consecutive games.

Stastny, who spent two years at the University of Denver and played his first eight NHL seasons with the Avalanche, has made a habit of playing well against his former team, with nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 13 games.

 

[WATCH: All Blues vs. Avalanche highlights]

 

Stastny tied the game 1-1 at 0:39 of the second period with his third goal of the season and 600th NHL point, and he set up Vince Dunn for a 3-1 Blues lead at 13:25.

"It's cool, it's special," Stastny said of the milestone point. "It's something you don't really think about, just in the moment. When the season is done or my career is done, I'll reflect. My mindset has always been just enjoy the moment. Don't really look at that next milestone, don't get ahead of yourself."

Blues defenseman Robert Bortuzzo scored at 9:05 of the third period when he converted Vladimir Sobotka's pass for a 4-2 lead, beating goalie Jonathan Bernier 10 seconds after the Avalanche killed off Patrik Nemeth's holding penalty.

"It just creeped in," Bortuzzo said. "I don't think (Sobotka) even looked at me until the puck was in the net. It was an incredible pass."

Said Bernier: "That was a tough one. I thought we did a great job on the (penalty kill), kept everything to the outside. I didn't have much to do, just to be in good position."

Video: STL@COL: Schwartz sweeps home puck while falling down

Colorado closed to 3-2 at 4:03 of the third period on a goal by Blake Comeau, who drove to the net with Bortuzzo. The players bowled over goalie Carter Hutton, and Comeau scored into an empty net. The goal was upheld after a challenge by Blues coach Mike Yeo.

"I think me and the ref who called it a goal looked at each other and had a good chuckle," Bortuzzo said. "It's almost as if things evened out there. We're just happy to get a win and move forward. Things worked out where I was involved in a goal against. We're a tight-knit team here. Anytime you're out there not contributing or something negative, it weighs on you a bit. To put a goal in relieves some of that stress."

The Avalanche made it 4-3 at 15:40 when Kerfoot scored into an empty net after the puck bounced away from Hutton behind the net. 

The Avalanche were ruled offside on another Yeo challenge after Mikko Rantanen scored with 2:34 to play.

The Blues got goals from Stastny, Jaden Schwartz and Dunn in the second period to take a 3-1 lead.

Schwartz, who had a hat trick Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks, put the Blues in front 2-1 at 12:33 when he converted the rebound of Alex Pietrangelo's shot for his sixth goal.

The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead on a power-play goal by Kerfoot at 13:40 of the first period.

"I liked our compete towards the end of the game," Kerfoot said. "We battled back and had opportunities to tie it up, but you got to play 60 minutes."

Hutton made 38 saves, and Bernier 24.

Video: STL@COL: Kerfoot cashes in on a lucky carom
 
 

Goal of the game

Dunn was in the left circle when he drew Bernier to the edge of the crease and shot the puck off his left pad into the net.

Video: STL@COL: Dunn pads Blues' lead with slick wrister

 

Save of the game

Hutton gloved Gabriel Landeskog's shot from the slot with 24.4 seconds left in the second period to maintain the Blues' 3-1 lead.

Video: STL@COL: Hutton flashes the leather on Landeskog

 

Highlight of the game

Rantanen led an odd-man rush into the Blues end in the second period when Pietrangelo used his stick to deflect Rantanen's attempted cross-ice pass. The puck went to Vladimir Tarasenko, who passed to Stastny for the tying goal.

Video: STL@COL: Stastny rings one home for 600th point

 

They said it

"You lose a couple guys to injury, it hurts you. We had a couple passengers that we stopped playing, that hurts you. A couple bonehead plays, you can't make them. You're playing the best team in the [Central] division for a tie in the division lead and we had a couple guys who didn't show up to play. Can't do it." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

"He's a true professional in every sense of the word. He works tirelessly day in and day out. He's one of the most mentally tough guys I've ever played hockey with." -- Blues center Paul Stastny on goalie Carter Hutton

 

Need to know

The Avalanche lost three players to injury. Forward J.T. Compher sustained a broken thumb in the second period, and forward Tyson Jost and Nemeth had lower-body injuries in the third ... Colorado assigned defenseman Andrei Mironov to San Antonio of the American Hockey League.

 
What's next

Blues: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; ATTSN-RM, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Avalanche: Host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; ALT, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Hutton, Blues hold off Avalanche, 4-3

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