Nazem Kadri scored a buzzer-beating power-play goal to give the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 comeback victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in Western Conference round-robin play Sunday night.
Kadri’s shot crossed the goal-line with 0,1 seconds on the clock. The NHL reviewed the play for several minutes before calling it a good goal.
By winning the game held at an empty Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Colorado took an early lead in the seeding race among the top four teams in the West. The Avalanche, Blues, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars have byes into the traditional first round of the NHL playoffs and will each face the winner of a best-of-five qualifying round series.
The frenzied finish made up for an uneven first 55 minutes or so. In the final two, St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo went off slowly after taking a shot off the side of his right knee, teammate Alex Steen took a penalty and the Avalanche put goaltender Jordan Binnington and the Blues penalty kill under siege.
It finished with Kadri’s goal that ruined a 36-save performance from Binnington, who was as sharp as he was during the 2019 playoffs. He made 16 saves in the first period.
Shots were 15-2 in favour of Colorado in the first when captain Gabriel Landeskog was called for interference to put St. Louis on the power play. Perron scored 19 seconds into the power play to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.
A penalty-filled second period included Landeskog boarding Zach Sanford – a two-minute minor penalty that may warrant a look from the league’s department of player safety.
Ryan Graves tied it at 1 on a broken play early in the third. After Blues defenceman Colton Parayko missed swatted at the puck and missed, Graves fanned on it before beating Binnington at the 5:33 mark.
NOTES: D Vince Dunn was a surprise inclusion in the Blues’ lineup, making Robert Bortuzzo a healthy scratch. … Colorado’s Andre Burakovsky stayed in the game after taking a stick to the face in the second period.
Avalanche: Pavel Francouz is expected to start in goal in their next round-robin game Wednesday against Dallas.
Blues: Will be the “home” team against the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday.