5 takeaways from the Avalanche’s 2-1 victory over St. Louis – The Denver Post

Former Avalanche standout Ryan O’Reilly accidentally contributed to the winning goal in the last minute of regular time on Saturday night when the Avs defeated O’Reilly and the St. Louis Blues 2-1 at Ball Arena.

Colorado won’t train and will only travel to Minnesota on Easter Sunday and begin a two-game set against the Wild on Monday in St. Paul, Minn.

Five takeaways from beating the blues on Saturday:

Accidental support. O’Reilly, the 2019 Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP for Stanley Cup winners Blues, collected a loose puck near the left wall in the defensive zone and tried to get it off the boards and out of the zone. Instead, he threw it straight at Avalanche defender Cale Makar, who scored the winning goal 40.1 seconds ahead.

Different directions. Colorado defeated the Blues on a two-game set and St. Louis has now lost six straight games, falling to 16-15-6 and finishing fifth with San Jose in the West Division. The Avalanche (25-8-4) have expanded their points stretch to 14 games (12-0-2) and are now four points ahead of Vegas to take first place in the West. The Golden Knights (24-10-2) have lost two games in their last 10 games and only 5-4-1.

Gru, Gru. Avs goalkeeper Philipp Grubauer made 27 saves for his 23rd win of the season and connected Andrei Vasilevskiy from Tampa Bay with the league high. Grubauer leads the NHL with 1.76 goals against the average and his saving of 0.929 is second only to Vasilevskiy (0.932).

Obviously, the Avalanche likes their # 1 goalkeeper, and compared to his two backups this season – Hunter Miska and Jonas Johansson – “Gru” plays at a completely different, effective pace.

Grubauer has now stopped the Avs on at least one point in 12 consecutive games and thus set a club record. Peter Budaj (2006-07) and Patrick Roy (1996-97) also played 12 games in a row to lead Colorado to a win, draw or loss in extra time / shootout.

Liam the lion. Striker Liam O’Brien, 6-foot-1 and 213 pounds, played his second game with the Avs, battling Blues defender Robert Bortuzzo in the second period. O’Brien seemed to choose the fight and gave Bortuzzo a jaw on the face-off that followed. Bortuzzo tried to fight Avs striker Valeri Nichushkin in the first phase.

Fighting is not for everyone. But the Avs may have found a striker willing to discourage opponents from taking liberties against their seasoned players.

“That’s part of it,” Bednar said when asked if O’Brien is playing the enforcement role. “He’s very competitive. Our professional scouts have watched him and really like him. It’s that determination and determination, and you can see how it affects the pre-exam. “

MacKinnon and Company. The top line of the Avs in the center Nathan MacKinnon and wingers Gabe Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen have 60 points (25 goals) with seven winning goals during the Avs 12-0-2 stretch.

MacKinnon scored Colorado’s first goal in the first half on Saturday following a neutral zone feed from Landeskog. It was MacKinnon’s third goal in four periods and Landeskog extended his points streak to four games (three goals, seven points).

MacKinnon has points in five straight games (three goals, eight points) and 21 points (eight goals) in 14 games since returning from injury on March 10. Rantanen led the NHL with points (25) and goals (13). in March – the second highest monthly total in the history of the Avs.

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