1. Blues get the bounce
Even Norris Trophy finalists have a hiccup every now and then and St. Louis capitalized on Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar’s early game boo-boo. In the circle to goalie Darcy Kuemper’s right, Makar gloved the puck and it appeared to handcuff him. The puck bounced off Blues center Ryan O’Reilly and then Blues winger Brayden Schenn and right back to O’Reilly for the 1-0 lead 6:25 into the game. Playing for the first time in eight days, the Avalanche looked it in the first period. Sure, it had a 9-7 shots advantage and hit two pipes, but the Blues did a nice job of keeping the Avs to the outside.
2. Second-period domination
The second period was complete Avalanche domination. Goals — 2-0. Shots — 20-9. Zone time — Let’s just say the Zamboni driver would have been fine not re-surfacing the Blues’ offensive zone. The first goal was scored by winger Valeri Nichushkin, who skated free of Blues defenseman Nick Leddy to pound home a rebound. The second goal was thanks to half-wall work by Avs winger Gabe Landeskog, who slipped a pass to defenseman Josh Manson, who then fed it across the ice to Sam Girard. After taking a few strides forward, Girard’s slap shot beat goalie Jordan Binnington under the pads.
3. Missed opportunities
For all of its dominance from the second period on, the Avalanche still led only 2-1 halfway through the third. It should have been more. Darren Helm missed the net on a breakaway … Andrew Cogliano’s tip hit the goal post. … Artturi Lehkonen was robbed by Binnington on a rebound attempt. … The Avalanche’s second power play produced nothing (no shots and very little zone time). … And after the Blues tied it on their first power play, the Avalanche couldn’t score with the man advantage bridging regulation and overtime. But Manson won it with a point shot at 8:02 of overtime, allowing the Avs to escape with the 3-2 win.