Avalanche throttled in Game 2 to send series to St. Louis tied at 1-1

May 19, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Blues left wing David Perron (57) celebrates his goal with left wing Pavel Buchnevich (89) in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche in game two of the second round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The first bit of adversity has made its way to the Avalanche. And they’re not placing the blame on anybody but themselves.

“Our execution was off,” superstar center Nathan MacKinnon said. “Weren’t feeling it, just fighting it out there. It’s unfortunate.”

Listen to “Avalanche Suffer First Postseason Loss” on Spreaker.

Following five consecutive dominant performances to start the playoffs, Colorado was throttled offensively by the Blues in Game 2 at Ball Arena on Thursday, falling 3-1. The series will head back to St. Louis tied 1-1 with home ice now taken away from the Avs.

“We get to go on the road and hopefully steal one there. Hopefully two,” MacKinnon said. “We gotta forget about it and move on and get back to the way we can play.”

The Avalanche were eventually going to lose a game. But the manner in which it happened is likely the most alarming. Not only did the Avs suffer in the very same game that saw their 2021 run suddenly unravel, but they struggled — again — to beat Blues goalie Jordan Binnington.

The netminder made 51 saves in Game 1 and followed it up by stopping 30-of-31.

“He looks like he’s feeling it,” MacKinnon said. “We gotta take away his eyes. I know it’s kind of a cliche thing, but he definitely saw a lot of pucks tonight.”

Gabriel Landeskog scored Colorado’s lone goal on the power play to pull them within one. The Avs surrendered two goals in the second period before the tally from Landeskog. Their early third-period momentum was swatted away when David Perron put home his second of the evening following a broken play by the Avalanche in the offensive zone.

Defenseman Cale Makar and Andre Burakovsky had a miscommunication on the play which led to the odd-man rush.

Darcy Kuemper was square to Perron on the 2-on-1 play and had the puck bounce off of his glove and into the back of the net. It was a tough one to let in for what was an otherwise strong performance from the goalie.

“It’s a turnover high in the zone. Bottom line,” head coach Jared Bednar said. “Not gonna place the blame on either guy but you gotta take care of the puck. You turn it over there, chances are something bad is gonna happen.”

Colorado will look to make adjustments just as the Blues did. The response from St. Louis was strong.

It’s paramount the Avs have an even stronger response.

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Aarif Deen is our Colorado Avalanche beat reporter. He covers Avs games live from Ball Arena and attends practices, media availabilities and other events pertaining to the Avs on the daily beat. He is also a co-host of Hockey Mountain High: Your go-to Avalanche Podcast. Deen joined Mile High Sports upon completion of his bachelor’s degree in journalism and master’s in business administration from the University of Michigan – Dearborn. Before Mile High Sports, Deen worked for the Michigan Wolverines Athletics Department as the assistant sports information director.

Follow him on Twitter @runwriteAarif

Listen to “Avalanche Suffer First Postseason Loss” on Spreaker.

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