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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET22:00 BRT, April 2, 2021
Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 4,039

Surging Avalanche face reeling Blues

St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche

  1. These teams split two games in Denver in January, with the Blues winning 4-1 on opening night of the season before Colorado got an 8-0 win, the second-largest margin of victory by any team this season (Rangers, 9-0 over Flyers on March 17).
  2. The Blues fell to the Ducks, 3-2, in overtime at home on Sunday, their fourth straight loss (0-3-1) and ninth in their last 11 games (2-5-4). They've scored at least three goals in just three of those 11 games, getting outscored by an average of 3.5 to 1.9.
  3. Playing in just his 11th game of the season on Sunday, Vladimir Tarasenko assisted on St. Louis' first goal and scored its second. The Blues are 3-1-3 in Tarasenko's last seven multi-point games -- they had won 14 straight prior to that.
  4. The Avalanche beat the Coyotes, 9-3, at home on Wednesday, their most goals in a game since a 9-4 win over Nashville on November 7, 2019. It was their fourth game with at least seven goals this season -- Edmonton (also 4) is the only other team with more than two such games this year.
  5. Joonas Donskoi completed a hat trick 7:31 into the first period on Wednesday, over seven minutes faster from the start of a game than any other player in franchise history. Donskoi's 15 goals this year are one shy of tying his career high of 6, set last year in 65 games.
  6. The Avalanche are averaging just 5.7 giveaways per game, third fewest in the league behind Vegas and Tampa Bay (both 5.5). The Blues have just 6.5 giveaways per game, sixth fewest in the NHL.
(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Facing the surging Colorado Avalanche might not be the ideal way for the St. Louis Blues to end their current struggles.

Amid a 12-game point streak and coming off a dominant offensive performance, the Avalanche look to hand the Blues a fifth consecutive defeat in the first of back-to-back meetings on Friday night in Denver.

Vying for the West Division title, Colorado is 10-0-2 -- matching the NHL's longest point streak of the season -- since losing 3-2 to Arizona in regulation on March 8.

Joonas Donskoi recorded a first-period hat trick as the Avalanche scored five times over the first 7:31 -- and an Avalanche-record span of 3:27 -- during Wednesday's 9-3 home rout of Arizona.

Andre Burakovsky and Gabriel Landeskog each scored twice for the Avs, who have totaled 53 goals over the past 10 games and are also amid a 9-0-1 home stretch.

"It's been a good season so far," Landeskog, who has seven goals with 10 assists over the past 10 games, told the NHL's official website.

"We knew what kind of team we had, and I think we've shown it over the last five, six weeks. There's still steps we can take. For us, it's important that we keep working, keep trying to achieve first place in the division when the season is over and put ourselves in a good spot for the playoffs."

St. Louis, meanwhile, is simply trying to remain in playoff position in the West. The Blues are mired in a 2-5-4 stretch and have been outscored 14-4 during an 0-3-1 rut. They managed a point in their most recent outing, a 3-2 home loss to Anaheim on Sunday, but still have not earned a full two points since March 20.

"I definitely didn't expect us to be in this position," Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly said. "I know how good we can be, and our personnel, how good it is, but this happens.

"We have to find a way out. The only way we're going to do it is together."

These teams haven't met since splitting the first two games of the season, Jan. 13 and 15 at Colorado. The Avs won the finale of that set 8-0 with Landeskog scoring twice, Burakovsky recording a goal with an assist and Nathan MacKinnon posting a goal with two assists. Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves for the first of his five shutouts this season.

Grubauer has a 1.21 goals-against average with .948 save percentage during his 10-0-1 stretch, though recently acquired backup Jonas Johansson could start one of these two contests with St. Louis.

MacKinnon has 13 assists and 18 points over the past 11 games, but he could face a suspension after throwing a helmet at Arizona's Conor Garland during a scuffle on Wednesday.

St. Louis' Jordan Binnington was pulled after allowing half of the eight goals in the January loss at Colorado. He has a 3.05 goals-against average during his current 0-3-1 stretch. Backup Ville Husso is 5-0-1 with a 2.66 as a starter on the road in 2020-21.

O'Reilly has a goal in back-to-back games but failed to score at Colorado in January.

Donskoi scored one of his 15 goals against St. Louis, and has nine with six assists in the past 10 contests.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 2, 2021

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