January 3, 2020 / 5:51 AM / a month ago

Avalanche blast 1st-place Blues 7-3

EditorsNote: Several small changes

Jan 2, 2020; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues center Brayden Schenn (10) warms up before the game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Nazem Kadri scored twice as the Colorado Avalanche rolled past the visiting St. Louis Blues 7-3 Thursday night in Denver.

The Avalanche won for just the second time in their last seven games (2-4-1). They also snapped their six-game losing streak against the Blues dating back to the start of the 2018-19 season.

The Western Conference-leading Blues have lost back-to-back games on the heels of an eight-game winning streak.

Nathan MacKinnon scored one goal and assisted on three others for the Avalanche. Mikko Rantanen, Cale Makar, J.T. Compher and Joonas Donskoi also scored and Samuel Girard earned four assists.

Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer made 24 saves to snap his five-game winless streak.

Robert Thomas scored twice and Alex Pietrangelo scored the other goal while adding an assist for the Blues.

Looking for a more balanced effort, Avalanche coach Jared Bednar continued his line-tinkering. MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog stayed together on the top forward line at even strength, but with Donskoi and not Rantanen.

Rather than load up a second scoring line, Bednar looked at combinations that scattered Rantanen, Kadri and Andre Burakovsky on different lines.

MacKinnon put the Avalanche up 1-0 with a breakaway goal with 10.3 seconds left in the first period.

Moments later Kadri expanded the Avalanche lead to 2-0 with a rebound conversion from a sharp left-side angle at 3:20 of the second. Then Rantanen made it 3-0 with a power-play goal from the right circle on a 5-on-3 advantage.

The Blues bounced back in the frantic period with Thomas’ wraparound goal and Pietrangelo’s power-play point blast off Ryan O’Reilly’s faceoff win.

But Makar pushed the lead back to 4-2, scoring a power-play goal from straight-away above the circles with 16 seconds left in the second period.

The onslaught continued in the third period as the Avalanche chased Jordan Binnington with goals by Kadri from the right circle off the rush, Compher on a power-play tip-in and Donskoi from long distance.

Slideshow (30 Images)

The seven goals allowed were a career-worst for Binnington.

Jake Allen relieved Binnington with the Blues down 7-2 with 5:41 left to play. Thomas scored his second goal off a Makar turnover to close the scoring.

—Field Level Media

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