Game Report: Blues 4, Avalanche 2

By Nicholas Hand

The Blues completed a very successful road trip Tuesday night with a win over the Avalanche in Colorado. The Blues went 4-1 on the trip.

Patrik Berglund’s two-goal performance and goals from Magnus Paajarvi and Jaden Schwartz powered St. Louis’ offense along with Jake Allen making 26 saves for his 28th win of the season.

The Blues regained the third seed in the Central Division from the Nashville Predators with the win and moved eight points ahead of the Los Angeles Kings in the race for a wild-card playoff spot. The Blues and Predators are tied with 83 points with the Blues holding the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker 38 to 34.

A sluggish performance by the Blues in the first period put them in a 1-0 hole as John Mitchell scored his third goal of the season at 5:32. Mitchell fired a shot off the post and into the net with traffic in front of the Blues net.

Allen kept the Blues within one goal with solid goaltending making 10 saves in both the first and second period.

The Blues evened the score with 3:10 remaining in the second period on Berglund’s 20th goal of the season. A strong forecheck by David Perron created possession and Zach Sanford sent a quick backhanded pass to Berglund in the low slot who fired a shot over Colorado goaltender Calvin Pickard.

The Blues took their first lead of the game at 5:05 of the third period on Paajarvi’s sixth goal of the season. Paajarvi deflected a shot from Ivan Barbashev past Pickard after a terrific pass to Barbashev by Sanford.

Schwartz extended the Blues lead to 3-1 with his first goal in 15 games at 8:44 of the third period. Vladimir Tarasenko assisted on Schwartz’s 15th goal of the season as he buried the puck into the back of an open net on a second chance opportunity following his initial shot and a scramble in front of the net.

The Blues needed the insurance goal as Mark Barberio cut the lead to 3-2 with his second goal of the season with 5:10 remaining in regulation. Barberio fired a quick shot on net after a Tyson Barrie shot redirected off the end boards and to Barberio’s stick on a fortunate bounce.

Nathan MacKinnon nearly tied the game with 1:09 remaining in regulation and Pickard pulled for an extra-attacker when his shot rattled off the crossbar and went out of play.

Berglund put the game away on an empty-net goal with 48 seconds remaining for the 4-2 final score. Perron and Kyle Brodziak assisted on Berglund’s 21st goal of the season.

Of Note
: Blues center Paul Stastny left the game in the first period after taking a Tarasenko wrist shot off of his skate and did not return… Schwartz’s goal was his first since Feb. 15 in Detroit… Berglund, Sanford, and Perron all had multi-point games. It marked Sanford’s first multi-point game in his NHL career.

Looking Ahead:
The Blues begin a three-game home stand on Thursday night against the Vancouver Canucks at Scottrade Center.