With a target on his back on Monday, Nazem Kadri targetted the back of the St. Louis Blues net in response.

Kadri completed his first career playoff hat trick in the third period in the midst of an emotional matchup between two clubs in Game 4 at Enterprise Center. His first goal put the Avs ahead 2-1, his second tally was the eventual game-winner and his third was the nail in the coffin of a 6-3 victory for Colorado, which now leads the series 3-1 heading back to Denver.

Amid his goal-scoring — and an assist on the empty netter from Mikko Rantanen, Kadri was targeted from behind on a number of occasions.

“I figured someone was gonna have something to say,” said Kadri, in reference to an incident in Game 3 where he and a Blues defenseman collided with Jordan Binnington, knocking him out of the series with a lower-body injury. “But that’s just stupid penalties that we cashed in on and it hurt them.”

Listen to “Nazem Kadri Makes St. Louis Pay” on Spreaker.

Following a battle against the boards with Blues forward David Perron in the second period, Kadri was cross-checked to the ice from behind by Pavel Buchnevich. And before he could gather himself, Perron added a second strike before jumping on his back and throwing multiple blows.

Both Buchnevich and Perron ended up in the box for a lengthy two-minute 5-on-3 advantage for the Avs. Colorado failed to capitalize but Kadri notched his second of the evening just seven seconds later.

“Lose your cool we’ll make you pay,” Kadri said.

As Kadri was celebrating that goal, Perron attempted to elbow the 31-year-old in the head but failed to make contact.

Colorado scored four goals in the second period after surrendering the first goal once again. Aside from Kadri’s three, the Avs also had goals from Erik Johnson and Devon Toews before Rantanen’s empty-net goal, his first of the playoffs.

Goalie Darcy Kuemper faced just 20 shots, making 17 saves. Kuemper was under attack late in the second period after Colorado took two minor penalties which both led to goals. Outside of that, his night was once again relatively quiet.

Kadri was the center of attention following Game 3 on Saturday for the Binnington injury.

Early in the first period, Kadri battled defenseman Calle Rosen for a loose puck before both collided with Binnington. There was no penalty called on the play as it was deemed a collision with an unfortunate result.

The Blues felt the play should’ve warranted a penalty and let their frustrations be known following the loss. Coach Craig Berube didn’t shy away from his thoughts on the play, placing the blame entirely on Kadri for the collision.

“Look at Kadri’s reputation, that’s all I have to say,” Berube said.

Kadri’s response was on the scoresheet. And then backed up by his comments following Game 4.

“Their head coach made some comments I wasn’t a fan of. Guess he’s never heard of bulletin board material.”

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 “Nazem Kadri Makes St. Louis Pay” on Spreaker.