Blues Send Message with Game 2 Win
It has looked so routine for the Colorado Avalanche who trailed for less than five minutes in a four-game sweep of the Nashville Predators in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Counting the first game this postseason, the Avalanche trailed for less than 22½ minutes in their first five playoff games.
The Blues made it clear that things might be a little different this season by going into Denver and handing the Avalanche their first loss in these playoffs. Goalie Jordan Binnington currently leads the NHL with a 1.75 goals-against average as he looks like the player who led the Blues to the 2019 Stanley Cup title.
According to the NHL Vegas odds, Colorado (+200) is the overwhelming favorite to win the Stanley Cup title. St. Louis comes in at +1600. In the odds to represent the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Final, Colorado comes in at -155 while the odds for the Blues somehow fell slightly to +750 after the Game 2 win.
Avalanche Seeks To Regain Home-Ice Advantage
The adage when it comes to professional playoff series is not to start worrying until a team loses at home. Well, the Stanley Cup odds favored Colorado Avalanche lost Game 2 to St. Louis at home.
Colorado never led in the game, only drew two penalties, and was dominated in the faceoff department during a 4-1 loss. The forwards for St. Louis managed four more shots on goal than Colorado’s group of forwards, which is quite possibly the best in the league.
The Avalanche’s power trio of Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon, and Mikko Rantanen combined for the lone goal. They have combined for a goal and six assists in the two games while the other Colorado forwards have just two points.
Colorado will need more from its other forwards because St. Louis now has home-ice advantage with three of the next four games being played in the Blues’ home rink.
“We didn’t have our jump tonight,” MacKinnon said after the Game 2 loss. “Our execution was off. We just weren’t feeling it, just fighting it out there. It’s unfortunate, but it’s 1-1.
The NHL betting lines total has gone over in four of the last five times Colorado played at St. Louis.
Perron Delivers for the Blues
Veteran St. Louis forward David Perron made his 100th career NHL postseason game a memorable one.
Perron had his second career multi-goal game in the playoffs. His first goal gave the Blues a 2-0 lead as the Avalanche trailed by more than a goal for the first time in these playoffs. His second one might have been even more important.
Landeskog’s power-play goal pulled Colorado within a goal early in the third period. Perron scored midway through the period to restore the two-goal advantage. Former Colorado Avalanche forward Brandon Saad scored with Colorado goalie Darcy Kuemper pulled in favor of an extra skater to ice the win.
David Perron after Game 2: “It’s playoffs. Big roller coaster. We didn’t feel good about ourselves last game. Tonight we had a lot more guys (playing well).” #stlblues
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 20, 2022
St. Louis coach Craig Berube shuffled his lineup for Game 2 with Perron playing with Pavel Buchnevich and Ryan O’Reilly. They combined for five points and nine shots on goal. Buchnevich and Perron were held scoreless in the series opener and had one shot on goal between them.
Perron is tied for second in the 2022 playoffs with seven goals. It has been quite the turnaround for Perron who had just three goals in his first 57 postseason contests. He has 19 in his last 43. That surge has coincided with Perron being reacquired by the Blues following the 2017-18 season.
Something to consider for those who bet online, six of the Blues’ last eight games against Colorado have gone over the total.
Avalanche vs Blues Head-to-Head
Colorado had won six of the last seven games against St. Louis, including a four-game sweep in the 2021 playoffs before the Game 2 win. In three regular-season matchups this season, Colorado had 12 goals while St. Louis finished with 11.
At least five goals have been scored in the last 11 games between the Avalanche and Blues. Colorado has won the last three games played in St. Louis, including both contests in last year’s playoff series.
The odds are still in Colorado’s favor. The Avalanche winning in six games will payout at +225, a win in five games at +275 and a seven-game series win for Colorado would cash out at +325. For St. Louis, the best mark is +550 for a win in seven games.
Avalanche vs Blues Game Information
- Game: Avalanche (56-19-7 in the regular season) vs Blues (49-22-11)
- Location: Enterprise Center
- Day/Time: Saturday, May 21, 8 p.m. ET
- Avalanche vs Blues Live stream: NHL.TV
Avalanche vs Blues Betting Lines
Avalanche vs Blues Prediction
Colorado is still favored while playing on the road and coming off of its first loss in the postseason.
St. Louis is still waiting for the return of defensemen Torey Krug and Marco Scandella. Scandella seems closer to returning to the ice than Krug. The Blues have been giving heavy minutes to the trio of Colton Parayko (26:58 minutes per game), Justin Faulk (24:59), and Nick Leddy (23;31) in the first two games. It remains to be seen if those workloads will catch up with them. The good news is that after being badly outshot in the opening game, the play was pretty even so the minutes weren’t quite as taxing as the ones in the previous contest.
The biggest change from Game 1 to Game 2 came on the faceoffs. Colorado won 34 of 53 faceoffs in the opener while St. Louis was +13 on faceoffs in game 2.
As impressive as the bounce-back performance was for St. Louis, it is hard to pick against the Avalanche.
Pick: Avalanche -165
Pick: Avalanche -1½ (+110)