ST. LOUIS — Though the Colorado Avalanche regained the lead in their second-round series, they’re not satisfied.
Artturi Lehkonen scored twice, Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots and the Avalanche defeated the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Game 3 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
Logan O’Connor, Nazem Kadri and Gabriel Landeskog also scored as the Avalanche bounced back from a 4-1 loss at home two nights earlier and improved to 3-0 away in the postseason.
“Of course that was a good answer from the last game,” said Lehkonen. “We still know we can clean up some things in our game and have to move on to the next one.”
Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist and Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues who may have lost goalkeeper Jordan Binnington.
Binnington made three saves before leaving the game at 6:45 in the first half after Kadri and Blues defender Calle Rosen collided with him after their skates became tangled in the crease. No penalty was invoked on the play.
“Look at Kadri’s reputation,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “That’s all I have to say.”
The coach added that Binnington is being checked for a lower body injury.
“I just see a loose puck, really,” Kadri said. “I just sat behind him and tried to hit him with my cane. I think their defense attorney somehow bumped into me and pushed me into him. If that hadn’t been the case, I don’t think I would have beaten him at all.”
After the game, when interviewed on television, Kadri said a blues player threw a water bottle at him, believing it was Binnington.
Ville Husso relievedly stopped 19 of 23 shots to drop to 1-3 in the playoffs.
“I think there was a little momentum swing,” O’Connor said of the Blues’ rotating goalies. “I think we felt before that our game was coming a little bit more. We got through it early. They hit us hard at first and really closed in the defensive zone. Then we started rolling things out a little more and got a little more confidence with the puck.”
Game 4 takes place in St. Louis on Monday night.
Parayko scored his second goal of the postseason with a slapshot from the spot 3:55 into the game to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.
O’Connor scored his first at 11:54 to equalize and Kadri followed with his second in the postseason when he deflected Cale Makar’s slapshot past Husso right after Pavel Buchnevich served an interference penalty.
Lehkonen scored his third goal of the playoffs to give Colorado a 3-1 lead with 2:45 remaining in the second period. Nathan MacKinnon assisted the goal to give him points in seven straight postseason games.
O’Reilly used a rebound from former Islander Nick Leddy for his seventh goal of the postseason to draw St. Louis within 1, with 29 seconds remaining in the middle stages.
“I think we were hoping for a little more game,” O’Reilly said of the third period. “We’ve lost our structure a bit and our numbers where we need them to cause offense. That wasn’t our best push.”
Landeskog ended the game when he scored his fifth goal of the postseason with 2:08 left after Husso started running off the ice for an additional attacker.
Lehkonen scored his second goal of the night when Husso drew to give Colorado a 5-2 lead in the last minute.
Avalanche defender Samuel Girard had to be helped off the ice after his head hit the boards on a first-half check by Ivan Barbashev 1:40. After the game, Bednar said Girard had a fractured sternum and would be out for the rest of the postseason.
“To be honest, I thought it was a legal review,” Bednar said. “It kind of goes in on his head side, but he has a lot of body there. He just turned in the right direction and awkwardly walked in. It was a heavy check. Unhappy.”
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