Avs Gameday: Colorado at St. Louis
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MacKinnon Goal Bright Spot In St. Louis Loss
Not much went right for the Avalanche on Thursday night in St. Louis, with Colorado allowing more goals (seven) than it had allowed in a game since surrendering the same Nov. 4, 2011 against Dallas—and that was in overtime, a 7-6 loss.
The last time the Avs had given up seven goals in regulation? Feb. 14, 2011, in a 9-1 home loss to Calgary.
So, there’s not much to be gleaned from this one. This was just one of those games that must be considered an outlier in an otherwise great start to the season for Colorado.
“There’s no reason for us to [be] down ourselves,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. “We’re 14-4. We played a really good game in Carolina (2-1 loss Tuesday). I thought tonight the puck didn’t bounce our way, the puck bounced their way, [and] it’s a big team. I thought that we learned a lot in those games.”
One particularly good takeaway from Thursday was the continued strong play of first-year forward Nathan MacKinnon, who scored his third goal of the season in the first period, which at the time tied the game at 1-1.
Blues Top Avalanche 7-3
ST. LOUIS -- The St. Louis Blues cooled off the Colorado Avalanche.
The Avalanche entered the game as the surprise team of the NHL season, winning 14 of 17 games for 28 of a possible 34 points. But they were overrun by a Blues team that is now 4-0-1 in its past five games. T.J. Oshie had a career-best four assists, Alexander Steen scored his League-leading 15th and 16th goals and the Blues defeated the Avalanche 7-3 on Thursday night at Scottrade Center.
Oshie had his first career four-point game, David Backes and Derek Roy each had a goal and two assists, and Vladimir Tarasenko and Alex Pietrangelo had two points apiece for the Blues (12-2-3), now 7-1-1 in their past nine games. Jaroslav Halak stopped 21 shots, helping the Blues beat the Avalanche for the fifth straight time at home.
The seven goals matched the Blues' season-high output in a 7-0 victory against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 5.
COACH POSTGAME: Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy talks to the media after the game.
Blues A Good Division Test For Avalanche
The Avalanche has been able to bounce back and return to the win column after its previous two losses this season.
Colorado will look to do it again tonight in St. Louis versus the division rival Blues (6 p.m. MT, TV: Altitude).
The Avs are 3-1-0 against their division this season, but the contest with the Blues will be the club's first test to see how they matchup against a divisional opponent that made the postseason last year.
"We know it's going to be tough tonight, but it’s a big one, a division opponent and St. Louis has been playing well," captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "It's a big matchup, and we want to show them we're for real."
Colorado is off to its best start through 17 games in franchise history at 14-3-0 (28 points), but Central Division foes Chicago (12-2-4, 28 points), Minnesota (11-4-4, 26 points) and St. Louis (11-2-3, 25 points) have also had good starts to their seasons.
Forward John Mitchell said being able to get up by a few points against a division rival would be huge for the team going forward for the rest of the season.
"It's obviously a four-point swing, win or lose," Mitchell said. "It's big for us, and we want to keep climbing in the standings and get ahead of these teams that are in our division. There is no better way, especially when you're playing a division opponent to get two points from them and put them in a hole by two points."
* Paul Stastny's goal on Tuesday moved him into a tie with Dale Hunter (142) for eighth place on the franchise's all-time goals list.
* Stastny needs two points to tie Valeri Kamensky (414) for eighth place on the franchise points list.
* Stastny has a four-game point streak (3g/1a).
* Nathan MacKinnon tied the franchise record for shots by a rookie in a single game with nine on Tuesday night in Carolina. He equaled the mark set twice by Gabriel Landeskog during the 2011-12 season.
* Erik Johnson logged a club season-high 28:57 of ice time on Tuesday at Carolina, the second-most minutes of his career (29:22 on April 1, 2011 at Phoenix).
* Matt Duchene has 10 points (5g/5a) in his last eight contests.
* Gabriel Landeskog has 14 points (6g/8a) in his last 13 games.
* Jan Hejda, who leads the team with a +16 rating, has had only one "minus" game all season. Hejda was a "plus" player in seven consecutive games (+14) from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10, the first Avalanche player to be "plus" in seven or more consecutive games since Cody McLeod in 2009-10.
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Avs, Blues Attempt To Get Back on Winning Side
AVALANCHE (14-3-0) at BLUES (11-2-3)
TV: RDS, ALT, FS-MW
Last 10: Colorado 8-2-0; St. Louis 6-1-3
Season series: Thursday's game will be the first of four meetings between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues this season. They'll play twice this month (Nov. 27 in Denver) and then not again until spring (March 8 in Denver; April 5 in St. Louis). The home team won all three games last season, with two of them going to the Avalanche. The Blues clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with their 3-1 win in the most recent matchup at Scottrade Center on April 23.
Big story: Each team enters looking to avoid a losing back-to-back games. The Avalanche, coming off a 2-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, haven't dropped consecutive games yet this season. The Blues, defeated 3-2 by the Phoenix Coyotes in overtime Tuesday, have lost two in a row once, but earned a point a point in both games.
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