The Colorado Avalanche lost another precious overtime point Friday night after Ryan O’Reilly notched the game-winning goal for the St. Louis Blues. The 4-3 loss in extra time is Colorado’s sixth this season.
While the Blues have had a rough year so far, the Avalanche did not overlook its opponent after losing to St. Louis 15 days earlier. That being said, Colorado’s recent stretch of ugly losses gave the Blues some confidence and St. Louis took advantage.
The first period was an offensive display from both sides as each team scored twice before the first intermission. It was St. Louis who got on the scoreboard first when Colton Parayko unleashed a monstrous one-timer from the point that beat Philipp Grubauer through traffic.
Looking for revenge, the Avalanche answered quickly when Sven Andrighetto scored his third goal of the year on a nifty breakaway just 2:18 after Parayko’s goal. The play began at the blue line when J.T. Compher passed the puck through traffic that Andrighetto gathered with a quick kick to his stick and walked in for the finish.
Matt Calvert then gave the Avs a 2-1 lead on a wraparound he backhanded through Blues goaltender Jake Allen’s five-hole. Both of Calvert’s linemates — Carl Soderberg and Matt Nieto — were given assists on the goal as the line as a whole made their presence felt throughout the night.
Just before the first intermission, St. Louis tied the game on a one-touch backdoor play created off of a great pass from Jay Bouwmeester from the corner after chasing the puck down and finding an open Ivan Barbashev for the goal.
The second period ended without a goal from either team, but the Avalanche seemed to have most of the control outshooting the Blues 16-6 in the period. A majority of Colorado’s 16 shots came on the power play, but they were unable to convert as the usually dangerous power-play unit struggled throughout the evening.
The next goal didn’t come until nine minutes left in the third period when Colton Parayko scored his second of the night on another powerful slap shot just as time expired on an Avalanche penalty. The shot bounced off of Ian Cole’s shinguard and went past Grubauer who played a strong game making a couple important saves late in the game. Unfortunately, the stat line isn’t too impressive for Grubauer as he stopped 24-of-28 shots faced on the night.
After his first-period assist and fight, J.T. Compher completed a Gordie Howe hat trick when he tied the game at three on Colorado’s final power play of the game, putting away a loose puck in the slot with 6:50 remaining in the third. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen added to their point totals for the year on the goal with an assist apiece.
In the overtime period, the Avalanche were awarded a strangely called power play when Vladimir Tarasenko was called for picking up one of his teammates stick in mid-play. Just seconds into the power play, Ryan O’Reilly picked up a puck in the neutral zone from a blocked Tyson Barrie shot and he walked in all alone on Grubauer for the game-winner.
The Avalanche have little time to dwell on the tough loss as they turn around and play another divisional matchup against the Dallas Stars for their fifth back-to-back of the year Saturday night at Pepsi Center.