Colorado Gets Second Chance To Close Things Out
Never overestimate the winning culture that comes from a run to the Stanley Cup championship. St. Louis was 3-0 in elimination games during the improbable road to winning the NHL title three years ago.
Down by three goals midway through a game they needed to win to extend their season, the St. Louis Blues showed the fight that led them to the 2019 NHL title. St. Louis twice tied the game in the third period and won it with a Tyler Bozak goal in overtime as the best of seven game series moves back to St. Louis for Game 6.
According to the Las Vegas odds, Colorado (+135) is still the overwhelming favorite to win the Stanley Cup title. The odds for the Blues moved from +8000 to +3300.
MacKinnon Heating Up for the Avalanche
Most of the attention during the series was focused on the other high-scoring center for the Colorado Avalanche. While Nazem Kadri was noticeable once again, it was Nathan MacKinnon who did everything he could to try to eliminate the St. Louis Blues.
MacKinnon had no goals and three assists in the first four games. That changed in Game 5 when MacKinnon had three goals including a highlight-reel coast-to-coast rush that resulted in the go-ahead goal with 2:46 left to play. MacKinnon also assisted on a goal by Gabriel Landeskog giving him nine goals and seven assists in the last nine playoff games against St. Louis.
“We got on our heels a little bit,” MacKinnon said. “We wanted it so bad. Win the third and go to the conference finals. We’ve got to keep our game going. That’s what we’ll do.”
This was the first game in the series when the Avalanche scored first. MacKinnon took care of that with two goals including one on the power play in the first period.
Five of Colorado’s last seven games went over the NHL betting lines total.
Thomas, Bozak Come Through
There were too many forwards who simply weren’t getting the job done for the St. Louis Blues during the first four games of the series against the favored Colorado Avalanche. The name of Robert Thomas had to be near the top of the list.
Thomas was one of nine St. Louis players with at least 20 goals during the regular season and he was second on the team with 77 points. Thomas had no goals in his first 11 playoff games. He delivered a pair of clutch goals to keep the season alive for the Blues.
Thomas’ goal midway through the third period made it a one-goal game before Jordan Kyrou tied things with less than five minutes remaining. When a mesmerizing end-to-end rush by MacKinnon gave the lead back to the Avalanche, Thomas scored with 56 seconds in the third period.
That set the stage for Bozak. The fourth-line center had five goals and eight assists during the Blues’ title run in 2019. Since then, Bozak had two goals and three assists in 22 playoff games. Bozak, who didn’t have a point in the first four games of the series, scored in overtime to send the series back to St. Louis.
Never count this team out!!
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) May 26, 2022
The total set by the sportsbook has gone over in 10 of the last 15 games played by St. Louis.
Avalanche vs Blues Head-to-Head
This will be the 12th straight postseason game when Colorado is favored against St. Louis with the Avalanche going 9-2 during that time. Five of those contests were decided by one goal.
The Avalanche have won the last five playoff games in St. Louis and have outscored the Blues 21-8 in those games.
The total has gone over in each of the last five times that Colorado has traveled to the Enterprise Center.
Colorado had won the last six postseason games against St. Louis featuring at least six combined goals before the Blues rallied for a 4-3 win in overtime on Wednesday.
According to the NHL playoff odds, the series price for Colorado dropped from -3000 to -750.
Avalanche vs Blues Game Information
- Game: Avalanche (56-19-7); Blues (49-22-11 in the regular season);
- Location: Enterprise Center, St. Louis
- Day/Time: Friday May 27, 8 p.m. ET
- Avalanche vs Blues Live Stream: NHL.TV
Avalanche vs Blues Betting Lines
Avalanche vs Blues Prediction
Keep an eye on special teams. Colorado and St. Louis are first and second in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in success rate on the power play. Colorado is converting 33.3% of the time and St. Louis is at 32.4%.
It might surprise some people to find out that the Blues were more successful on the power play during the regular season than the Avalanche. St. Louis ranked second and Colorado seventh in power play percentage. During the series, St. Louis is 4-for-11 and Colorado 2-for-11 with the man advantage. Colorado is 5-for-10 on the power play on the road during the playoffs.
Both teams will be without top puck-moving defensemen. Torey Krug has missed the entire series for St. Louis while Colorado’s Samuel Girard suffered a season-ending broken sternum in Game 3 of the series. St. Louis defenseman Marco Scandella returned for Game 5 but those who bet online might want to keep an eye on his status just to be on the safe side.
Colorado is 4-0 on the road in the playoffs and leads the NHL with an average of 5.75 goals per game away from home in the postseason. Although Game 7 is in Denver, the last thing Colorado wants to do is give St. Louis a one-game shot at what would be a huge upset.
Pick: Avalanche -170
Pick: Blues +1½ (-160)