DENVER (AP) — Brandon Saad scored a quirky goal in the second period to break a tie, Jordan Binnington stopped 45 shots and the St. Louis Blues weathered a late 6-on-3 situation to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Monday night.
St. Louis committed two penalties to go down two skaters. And when the Avalanche pulled goalie Alexandar Georgiev for an extra skater, the Blues dodged a 6-on-3 disadvantage for the final minute to win their third straight game.
On his goal, Saad appeared to be passing from down low when the puck deflected off the stick of defenseman Cale Makar and then bounced in past Georgiev’s skate that was pressed against the post.
Cale Makar had two assists to give him 198 career points in 192 games. He’s trying to become the quickest defenseman to reach 200 points in NHL history.
Fresh off being named the league’s first star of the week, Rantanen scored the game’s first goal on a feed from Nathan MacKinnon in the second period. Rantanen has 19 points at home this season, which leads the league.
Colorado's advantage didn't last long as Thomas tied it 2:20 later. He sped past MacKinnon to score on a shot that hit off the post, bounced down and appeared to be knocked in by Georgiev.
Kyrou gave the Blues a 3-1 lead with a power-play goal just 13 seconds into the third. The team has only four goals that were faster to start a third period, according to NHL Stats.
Lehkonen made it a one-goal game early in the third, but Binnington came up big by stopping 18 shots in the period.
A back-and-forth first period featured a combined 28 saves from Binnington and Georgiev. But the best stop might have come from Kyrou when the Blues' center stuck out his skate to thwart a wraparound attempt from Evan Rodrigues.
The Blues took two penalties in the first period after being called for none over the last two games.
Blues coach Craig Berube doesn’t spend much time wondering what could’ve been if only Binnington hadn’t been hurt in Game 3 of a second-round playoff series against Colorado.
“I don’t live in the past,” Berube said. “They were the better team. So I don’t really focus on that too much.”
Blues: Finish a three-game trip Wednesday in Chicago.
Avalanche: Start a three-game trip Thursday at Carolina.
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Pat Graham, The Associated Press