Improved Offense, Blues Win Again: 3-2 Over the Avalanche

By Patrick Erickson

With one fell swoop from Patrick Berglund and a deft tip from Carlo Colaiacovo finished a game that should have ended long, giving the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 overtime win over the Colorado Avalanche.

It was never a game St. Louis looked like losing, merely another that provided dominating attacking periods after one another only to be frustrated by a game goalie in Semyon Varlamov. Story of the season right? In some ways, yes. In others, no.

David Perron continues to melt the ice in the last few games. Two power play goals in a single game by the Blues is nothing to sneeze at in a season that has seen rank bottom 5 in the NHL all year long. And to score them within 5 minutes of each other is unheard of. Simply put, Perron was brilliant and deserved his first star award.

But the highlights of the night have to be reserved for the third-period heroics of Brian Elliot, Berglund, and Colaiacovo. Shortly after St. Louis put together one of their most dominant spells of the season- possessing inside their offensive zone for over two minutes- but failing to score, a mistake nearly cost them any points at all.

With less than two minutes remaining in regulation the Avs pumped the puck in the zone and it took an abnormally large bounce of the live boards at the Scottrade Center. Alex Pietrangelo, who was excellent otherwise, misplayed it and it fell right to Gabriel Landeskog who forced Elliot onto his back and shot. But Elliot, so good against the Senators and Devils, came up with yet another huge save. It was the first shot he had faced in almost seven minutes, but he was still equal to the task, avoiding sending the Blues to what would have been a heartbreaking loss.

And then in overtime, Berglund struck. In the midst of another lengthy Blues possession, Bergy was given a little space from center near the blue line and let rip with a high wrister that appeared to take a slight deflection, credited to Colaiacovo, that fooled Varlamov, ending the game.

Shane O’Brien opened the scoring for the Avalanche, his second goal of the year giving the visitors a 1-0 lead at the 10:00 mark of the first. But Perron answered with his power play goals, TJ Oshie assisting on both. St. Louis was seemingly in control until their former #1 pick, Erik Johnson, tied it at 2-2 after one.

St. Louis dominated throughout, holding a 44-19 shots advantage. They out-shot Colorado 31-10 over the final two periods and 18-4 in the third. Still for a long time it seemed destined to head to a dreaded shootout, which even with the Blues victory in the latest edition against New Jersey is something everyone wanted to avoid.

But then Berglund let loose with his sweet slapper and Carlo provided the faintest, deftest of touches and sent everyone in the sold-out Scottrade Center home happy.

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