Avalance stay hot, edge Blues
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
DENVER (AP) — Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 37 shots and Jay McClement scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period to lift the Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night for their seventh straight home win.
Paul Stastny and Cody McLeod also scored for the Avalanche and Matt Hunwick, Kevin Porter and Shane O’Brien each had an assist each. Colorado has won seven consecutive at home for the first time since 2003.
Brian Elliott made 19 saves and David Backes and Chris Stewart scored for the Blues, who lost in regulation for just the second time the last 13 games.
The score was tied late in the second period when a pile-up in front of the St. Louis net produced the winning goal. McClement’s backhand was blocked by defenseman Alex Pietrangelo but the puck went over the line as Pietrangelo and forward Matt D’Agostini slid into Elliott and knocked the net off its moorings with 5:53 left in the period.
There was no goal indication on the ice but after a review McClement was credited with his sixth of the year.
Elliott went off for an extra attacker with 1:06 left but St. Louis couldn’t tie it again.
The Blues trailed 2-0 after the first period but got even in the second. Backes got St. Louis on the board when he beat Giguere with a shot from the right circle 3:01 into the period. It was his 11th goal of the season.
Stewart tied it midway through the period when he knocked in Patrik Berglund’s rebound for his fifth goal.
Backes nearly gave the Blues the lead when he had a breakaway a minute later but Giguere made the save.
Stastny put Colorad ahead 1-0 when he deflected Hunwick’s shot from the point past Elliott 3:52 into the game. It was his 11th goal of the season.
McLeod made it 2-0 when he hustled for his second goal of the season. Porter dumped the puck in on Elliott, who softly tried to clear the rebound to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. McLeod intercepted the pass and beat Elliott with a backhand at the 5:13 mark.
The Blues had opportunities to get on the board with three power-play chances in the first. They hit the post and failed to get a shot on goal with 14 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage.
NOTES: Colorado’s franchise record for consecutive home wins in a season is 10, done twice when the team was the Quebec Nordiques. ... Giguere won his 238th career game, tying him with Jocelyn Thibault for 48th on the NHL all-time wins list. ... The Blues failed to get at least one point for just the third time in their last 19 games.
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