Blues drops in overtime, 3-2 at Match 1 against Avalanche | St. Louis Blues

Denver – When an avalanche kicks in and a game of speed begins, it can be charming, hypnotic, and demoralize an opponent.

That was the situation for the Blues in the second half on Tuesday at the Ball Arena. The Blues couldn’t put up a roadblock. There were no officers on the ice to catch the avalanche in the speed trap.

It was a great show unless you’re the blues.

But the Blues got stuck there, forcing the match into overtime, only to lose 3-2 with 11:58 left with a Josh Manson goal.

In an opening round sweep against Nashville, Avalanche scored nine goals in the first half and scored first in all four competitions. None of that happened on Tuesday, but don’t take credit for the Blues too much.

The avalanche had ironworkers union members in the first period, hitting the crossbar twice and the post once. Initially Nazim Qadri was at the 4:31 mark, with a crossbar. Next came Artturi Lehkonen at the 7:27 mark with a post, then Mikko Rantanen at the 16:40 mark with another mark.

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Additionally, JT Compher eliminated Jordan Bennington breaking into the rights single-handedly less than five minutes into the match, but the disc shot off his baton.

But the only goal in the period was Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly at the start. After a Colorado spin in his own area, the ball rebounded from Brayden Shane’s leg to O’Reilly, who beat Darcy Comber with a stylish backhand to make it 1-0 for the Blues in the 6:25 minute of play.

O’Reilly has given six goals in the playoffs and goals in five consecutive games. He tied this latter achievement to the Blues’ playoff record: Joe Mullen in 1982 and Phil Roberto in 1972 had scored previous goals in the post-season in five consecutive games.

The pace was frenetic in the opening period – there were few pauses in play. And even with all the iron Colorado hit, the blues did a reasonable job of keeping Colorado from falling behind the singles men’s rush.

With all that said, the shot totals were modest in the period: nine shots on target for Colorado versus seven for St. Louis.

Things didn’t slow down in the second period. With an avalanche, it’s often a track encounter on skis. After just 3:14 minutes into this period, Colorado tied things up 1-1 with a goal from Valery Neshushkin. Rantanen’s shot rebounded from Bennington to Nikushkin, who trailed Nick Lady in the rebounding goal.

That stirred up the crowd, called the ice in Colorado’s favour, and the blues looked a bit shaky.

With pressure and an avalanche controlling the zone timing, former Blue Eric Johnson took the right-hand win and had an open net preventing him from going home. But Johnson didn’t get much at all, and that gave Binnington enough time to slip and make a gauntlet to the amazement of some of the avalanche players.

But the avalanche continued. I had the blues next to any time zone. By the time they were able to get the disc out of their area, it was time to change the lines. The avalanche is back. And it’s impossible to have time if you can’t win a bout and within two runs, Colorado was winning 68 percent of bouts.

With so much pressure, it was only a matter of time before Colorado scored again. That time came at 11:32 in the second half when defender Sam Gerrard sent in a powerful five-kick shot against Bennington.

The avalanche defense scored 64 goals in the regular season, the most in the NHL since the 1992-93 season. And as Gerrard showed, there’s more defensive firepower than Cal Makar.

And so the score was 2-1, and just two minutes later, the whistle was blown for Ivan Barbashev, the Blues’ player – the first penalty kick of the match after more than halfway through the match. Although the Blues had better strength performance during the regular season, Avalanche was cooking up in the post-season.

In the first round against the Predators, Colorado topped the league with a success rate of 43.8, converting 7 of 16 chances to play. With the help of more iron – my destiny hit the post – he killed the Blues with a penalty kick.

Things settled somewhat for St. Louis as the period ended, but the Blues were fortunate to fall behind only 2-1 after two stints. They outperformed 18-9 in the period. And after two spells, the scoring chances were asymmetric 23-7 in Colorado’s favour.

Bennington was sharp, and made that stunning streak throughout the match, stealing the avalanche on several occasions. In the third half, except for Andrew Cogliano’s shot, the ball bounced off the crossbar and stayed close to the goal line, but the Blues managed to keep the ball out of danger.

Then with 7:06 to play, the Blues had another power game to kill when Brandon Saad was whistled for tripping over Devon Toews – it was just a second penalty in the match. But with one second left on that penalty, Toews went into the penalty area to catch it and the Blues had a chance to hook it.

With the Blues powerhouse’s first game over, Jordan Kerro maneuvered into the slot, maintaining possession of the puck despite pressure from the avalanche and ripping a shot past Comber to score his fourth post-season goal.

It was a 3-3 match with 3:14 left.

Then Brayden Shane set out to play at 1:19 power. But the Blues kept the avalanche off the scoreboard and sent the game into overtime.

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