Avalanche Ride 3-Goal 2nd Period to 5-3 Win Over Blues

DENVER — Cale Makar and Andre Burakovsky scored 22 seconds apart in the second period to chase All-Star goaltender Jordan Binnington from the game and the Colorado Avalanche held on to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-3 on Saturday.

The Avalanche used a three-goal middle period to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 advantage. Tyson Jost also scored in the period. Nathan MacKinnon added a goal in the first and Gabriel Landeskog clinched it with an empty-netter.

Makar scored his 11th goal of the season to break the franchise record for most goals by a rookie defenceman. Burakovsky’s goal seconds later was his first in 14 games and had the Blues pulling Binnington for Jake Allen with 3:12 remaining in the second period. Binnington allowed four goals on 11 shots.

Alex Pietrangelo made things interesting down the stretch by scoring with 12:37 remaining to make it 4-3. The Blues pulled Allen with just under 2 minutes remaining, but couldn’t tie it up. Landeskog sealed it with his empty-net goal with 1.8 seconds left.

St. Louis Blues Alex Pietrangelo
St. Louis Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports)

David Perron and Oskar Sundqvist also had goals for the Blues, who will lead the Central Division heading into the All-Star break. Ryan O’Reilly added two assists, including a brilliant spin pass that set up Sundqvist.

Philipp Grubauer stopped 21 shots as Colorado moved to 2-0-2 on its five-game homestand.

After Sundqvist gave St. Louis a 2-1 lead 66 seconds into the second period, Jost tied it with his first goal since Nov. 30. That set off a wave of scoring with Makar and Burakovsky quickly following.

In the first period, it was St. Louis that rallied back when Perron scored a power-play goal with 1:56 left in the period. He also collected an assist on Pietrangelo’s goal.

Perron leads the Blues with 49 points (21 goals, 28 assists).

David Perron St. Louis Blues
St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)

Colorado struck first 3:41 into the game as Samuel Girard intercepted a pass near centre ice and dished it over to Mikko Rantanen, who fumbled the puck right back to Girard. The Avalanche defenceman slid a pass through the goal crease to an open MacKinnon.

It was MacKinnon’s 28th goal of the season. The speedy forward is chasing his third straight 30-goal season (41 in 2018-19, 39 in 2017-18). That would join him with Hall of Famer Joe Sakic as the only Avalanche players to record three straight 30-goal seasons since the team relocated to Denver in 1995.

Girard’s assist was his 10th since Jan. 1. Asked to explain his recent assist surge, Girard simply responded: “I’m just trying to be myself.”


Blues D Carl Gunnarsson returned to the lineup for the first time since Dec. 12. He’s been out with an upper body injury. … Avs F Joonas Donskoi (concussion protocol) missed a fourth straight game. He’s skating in a non-contact sweater. … The Avalanche moved to 3-0 in day games this season.


Blues: Off until Jan. 27 when they play in Vancouver.

Avalanche: Host Detroit on Monday before the All-Star break and bye week.


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Pat Graham, The Associated Press