St. Louis Blues forward Tyler Bozak said it best ahead of his team’s Game 6 against the Colorado Avalanche: “Obviously, we want to use this as momentum...But at the same time, they’re a really good hockey team over there, we know they’re gonna push, and we’re gonna have to be at our best if we want to beat them.”
But did the Blues deliver on Friday night? Yes and no.
The Blues didn’t necessarily need to score first, but they had to apply (and maintain) pressure on the Avalanche. Justin Faulk opened the scoring with his first goal of the playoffs at the 19:00 mark of the first period. Colorado outshot St. Louis 13-7, but the Blues led 1-0 after the first period.
The second period was a back-and-forth affair between the two teams. The Avalanche got on the board and tied the score 1-1 on J.T. Compher’s rebound goal — his first of the playoffs — at 5:19 of the second period. But, just 4:15 later, St. Louis took a 2-1 lead on Jordan Kyrou’s seventh goal of the playoffs. The Avalanche still led in shots 26-14, but the Blues led 2-1 after the second period.
The third period was all Avalanche. J.T. Compher scored his second goal of the playoffs — a power-play goal — to tie the score 2-2 at 10:18 of the third period. Colorado sealed the deal with just 5.6 seconds left in regulation as Darren Helm scored his first goal of the playoffs for a 3-2 lead.
The Blues fell to the Avalanche, 3-2.
Blues goaltender Ville Husso decided to impersonate Patrick Roy in his prime. Husso made some excellent saves, including the one in the GIF above. Husso made 36 saves on 39 shots in a losing effort.
Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 18 saves on 20 shots for the win. With the win, Colorado advanced to their first Western Conference Final since 2002. Congratulations, Avalanche fans!
I predicted Avalanche in six so I was right this time around. However, the Blues and Blues fans have a lot to be proud of. The Blues played with more heart and grit, made it past the first round, and had many people on the edge of their seats — especially in Game 5.