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Blues goalie Binnington leaves injured, Avs take series lead with 5-2 win

Jim Thomas, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in Hockey

There were some crunching hits in game, including one by Ivan Barbashev on Sam Girard less than two minutes into play. Girard was very slow to get up, and was holding his nose when he did. He was done for the game, and according to the Avalanche was sent to a local hospital.

The Blues came out strong and took a 1-0 lead on a 98-mph slap shot by Colton Parayko just 3:55 into the game. Parakyo’s shot appeared to break the stick of Devon Toews in half before getting past Darcy Kuemper.

There were plenty of chances for the Blues in the second period, and more tough luck. Maybe a second before the Blues appeared to score, Pavel Buchnevich was penalized for interference. Buchnevich was positioned in the slot with his stick down looking for the puck when called for interfering with Colorado’s Josh Manson.

Just six seconds after the Blues had killed off the Buchnevich penalty, Kadri scored on a net front tip-in of a Cale Makar shot from distance. The assist was Makar’s first point of the series.

Less than four minutes later, with the period winding down, the Avs stretched their lead to 3-1. The Blues were pressuring Kuemper, Brayden Schenn had a couple of chances, but Colorado broke the other way on a 2-on-1 rush with Rosen the only Blues player back.

Artturi Lehkonen raced down left wing and kept the puck. Rosen slid early to no avail, and Lehkonen fired a perfectly-placed shot in the upper near corner. So it was a two-goal lead — Colorado’s largest of the series, and with just 2:45 to play in the second, the rowdy crowd at Enterprise grew very silent.

But with the period winding down, Nick Leddy fired a shot from distance. Kuemper couldn’t quite control the rebound, and in swooped Ryan O’Reilly for the rebound and a greasy goal. So with just 29.7 seconds left in the period it was a 3-2 game.

 

It was O’Reilly’s seventh goal of the postseason, tying him for the team lead with David Perron, and gave him points in seven straight postseason games.

The play was pretty even for much of the third period. The Blues had some good opportunities, including a point-blank shot from Robert Thomas in the slot that Kuemper stopped. But with the clock ticking down under the five-minute mark, Colorado held its 3-2 lead.

They played “Country Roads,” the fans sang along, and still 3-2 Colorado.

With just over two minutes to play, and Husso heading off the ice, Colorado came up with the puck in the neutral zone and raced back the other way on a 2-on-1 break. Husso was caught in no man’s land. He couldn’t get back in position on time and Gabriel Landeskog scored his second goal of the series to make it a 4-2 game with 2:08 to play.

Then came a traditional empty-netter by Lehkonen with 57.5 seconds to play.

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