Lehkonen scores twice to help Avalanche beat Blues 5-2





Colorado Avalanche’s Gabriel Landeskog (92) keeps an eye on the puck as St. Louis Blues Ville Husso goaltender Tyler Bozak, left, and Niko Mikkola, right, defend during the second period of the third game of an NHL Stanley Cup playoff second round game on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Despite regaining the lead in their second-round series, the Colorado Avalanche aren’t satisfied.

Artturi Lehkonen scored twice, Darcy Kuemper stopped 29 shots and the Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 5-2 in Game 3 on Saturday night to take a 2-1 best-of-seven series lead.

Logan O’Connor, Nazem Kadri and Gabriel Landeskog also scored as the Avalanche rebounded from a 4-1 home loss two nights earlier, and improved to 3-0 on the road in the playoffs.

“Of course it was a good response from the last game,” Lehkonen said. “We always know that we can clean up some things in our game and we have to move on to the next one.”

Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist, and Colton Parayko also scored for the Blues, who may have lost starting goaltender Jordan Binnington.

Binnington made three saves before leaving the game at 6:45 of the start of the first period after Kadri and Blues defenseman Calle Rosen collided with him after tangling their skates in the slot. No penalty was called on the play.


Colorado Avalanche Samuel Girard (49) is helped off the ice by a coach after being injured during the first period of Game 3 of a Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in hockey NHL vs. St. Louis Blues on Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Saint Louis.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Colorado Avalanche Samuel Girard (49) is helped off the ice by a coach after being injured during the first period of Game 3 of a Stanley Cup second-round playoff series in hockey NHL vs. St. Louis Blues on Saturday, May 21, 2022, in Saint Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

“Look at Kadri’s reputation,” said Blues coach Craig Berube. “That’s all I have to say.”

The coach added that Binnington was assessed for a lower body injury.

“I just see a loose puck, really,” Kadri said. “I was just sitting behind him and just trying to push him with my stick. I think their defender collided with me and pushed me towards him. If it hadn’t been, I don’t think I would have hit him at all.

After the match, when Kadri was interviewed on television, he said a Blues player threw a water bottle at him and thought it was Binnington.

Ville Husso stopped 19 of 23 shots in relief to fall to 1-3 in the playoffs.

“I think there’s been a slight change in momentum there,” O’Connor said of the Blues’ goalie change. “I think even before that we felt our game coming a bit more. We got over it early. They were tough on us early on, really tightening up in the defensive zone. Then we started rolling a little more, gaining a little more confidence with the puck.

Game 4 is Monday night in St. Louis.


Logan O'Connor (25) of the Colorado Avalanche is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL Hockey Stanley Cup second round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in St. Louis.  (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Logan O’Connor (25) of the Colorado Avalanche is congratulated by teammates after scoring during the first period of Game 3 of an NHL Hockey Stanley Cup second round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Parayko scored his second goal of the playoffs on a slap shot from the point 3:55 into the game to give St. Louis a 1-0 lead.

O’Connor got his first at 11:54 to tie, and Kadri followed with his second of the playoffs when he deflected Cale Makar’s slapshot past Husso just after Pavel Buchnevich finished serving an interference penalty .

Lehkonen scored his third of the playoffs to give Colorado a 3-1 lead with 2:45 left in the second period. Nathan MacKinnon assisted on goal to give him points in seven straight playoff games.

O’Reilly capitalized on a Nick Leddy rebound for his seventh playoff goal to bring St. Louis to within one with 29 seconds left midway through the period.

“I think we were hoping for a little more play,” O’Reilly said of the third period. “We kind of lost our structure a bit and kind of have our numbers where we need them to generate offense. It wasn’t the best push from us.

Landeskog froze the game when he scored his fifth of the playoffs with 2:08 left after Husso started skating off the ice for an extra forward.

Lehkonen scored his second of the night with Husso fired to put Colorado ahead 5-2 in the final minute.

INJURED GIRARD

Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard had to be helped off the ice after his header hit the boards on an Ivan Barbashev check 1:40 into the first period. After the game, Bednar said Girard had a broken sternum and would be out for the rest of the playoffs.

“I thought it was a legal check to be honest with you,” Bednar said. was a big check. Shame.

GROOVES

O’Reilly has at least one point in seven straight games. He has scored seven goals and four assists during his streak

BENCH PATTERN

Berube coached his 48th playoff game with the franchise which moved Ken Hitchcock to third place in team history.

POWER OF THE HALL OF FAME

Former Blues defenseman and Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Pronger was shown on the video board at the Enterprise Center. Pronger, whose number 44 was retired by the club earlier this season, drank a beer to the delight of the crowd, re-enacting a scene from his shirt removal ceremony.

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