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A stagnant offense has been the hallmark of the Colorado Avalanche so far this season and their struggles early today against the St. Louis Blues did nothing to change that. The Blues, also struggling offensively, had exactly the opposite start.
Having scored 5 goals in their previous 4 home games, St. Louis set out early to change that as Alexander Steen had a breakaway just seconds into the game but Semyon Varlamov came up big and turned him away. It wouldn’t last, however, as the Blues were the recipients of atrocious Avalanche defense and Robby Fabbri scored his first of the season just 1:37 into the first period.
The swiss cheese defense continued as Jori Lehtera was left alone in front of the net after another odd-man rush and his goal 3:35 into the first made it 2-0 before the Avalanche even realized what happened.
Varlamov had an impressive first period, despite the two goals against, as he stopped a number of excellent scoring chances and kept his team within striking distance. It wouldn’t last.
Colorado actually showed signs of life in the second period, carrying the pace of play and a Matt Duchene deflection goal from the point made it 2-1 with the Avalanche pressing and looking to be competitive.
A Patrick Wiercioch penalty and ensuing Jayden Schwartz power play goal to make it 3-1 and all the good feelings after the Beauchemin goal quickly evaporated. The Steen turned out to be the dam breaking as Scottie Upshall and David Perron scored in the final five minutes of the second period to make it 5-1 and remove any doubt about the game’s outcome.
A penalty-filled third period saw two fights and plenty of unnecessary angst for a game long decided but no more scoring occurred and the final came to 5-1.
1. Jake Allen
2. Robby Fabbri
3. Kevin Shattenkirk
PLAY OF THE GAME
Lehtera’s goal to make it 2-1 was a downright clinic in how to execute on a 4-on-3 rush into the offensive zone as everyone touched the puck, ending in Lehtera one-timing it past Varlamov for the game-winning goal.
The Schwartz goal to make it 3-1 took the air out of the Avalanche just when they started to get momentum and essentially ended the game.
BY THE NUMBERS
Colorado heads home for their next several games, beginning on Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. local time.