for this game

Blues thrash Avalanche

Nov 15, 2013 - 5:48 AM
St. Louis, MO ( - Alexander Steen potted his league-leading 15th and 16th goals of the season to lead an offensive barrage that carried the St. Louis Blues to a 7-3 drubbing of the Colorado Avalanche at Scottrade Center.

The Blues scored five straight times to break a 1-1 tie after one period and hand the Avalanche back-to-back losses for the first time under rookie head coach Patrick Roy -- this one by far the most lopsided of his 18 games behind the bench.

"There's nights like this," Roy remarked. "What I like about our team, even if it was a 7-1 or 7-2, we never stopped. We kept going at them. I think we just lost our focus in the second period."

David Backers and Derek Roy each had a goal and two assists in the rout, with T.J. Oshie posting a career-high four helpers for St. Louis. Vladimir Tarasenko added a goal and one assist, while Jaroslav Halak turned aside 21 shots in the Blues' fourth victory in five outings.

"We really dialed up our checking," said Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock. "Our checking caused them to take penalties, checking created turnovers. When we dialed up our checking, (it) really had an impact in the game."

St. Louis had little trouble against either Colorado goaltender. Jean- Sebastien Giguere stopped just 18-of-23 chances, while Semyon Varlamov allowed a pair of goals on six shots in a brief relief stint.

Ryan O'Reilly recorded a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who began the season with six straight road wins prior to Tuesday's setback at Carolina. Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene also scored in defeat.

The Avalanche came into the contest not having allowed a goal in 20 shorthanded situations on the road this season, but the Blues struck twice on their first three power-play opportunities to build a 2-1 lead early in the second period.

After Colorado's Maxime Talbot was sent off for hooking a mere 1:49 in, St. Louis needed just five seconds to capitalize. Oshie's long-range wrister was re-directed by Derek Roy under Giguere's right blocker to give the Blues a quick 1-0 edge.

St. Louis also wasted little time on their next man-advantage goal. Eight seconds after Erik Johnson was called for holding, Backers put home a beautiful tip pass from Oshie while camped out all alone at the left side of the Colorado net to snap a 1-1 deadlock with 2:49 elapsed in the second.

In between, Colorado converted a power-play opportunity of its own when MacKinnon's wicked wrister handcuffed Halak and got through at the 5:30 mark of the opening frame.

Giguere was pulled a little over seven minutes into the middle session after letting up Steen's first tally of the night, a one-timer from the left circle off a Backers feed.

The Blues got to Varlamov as well later in the period, scoring twice with a 2 1/2-minute span to put the game out of reach.

Tarasenko beat the replacement goalie with 7:51 to go in the stanza after skating up the left side and taking in a give from Patrik Berglund, and Chris Stewart backhanded in a rebound off a Kevin Shattenkirk attempt with St. Louis on a 4-on-3 to extend the margin to 5-1.

"They made some great shots on the two goals they scored on the 5-on-5," said Patrick Roy. "Some really quality shots, I think it was Steen and Tarasenko, and they scored three on their power play. That was the story of the first two periods."

Giguere went back in at the start of the third period, but still couldn't stop the Blues' onslaught. He failed to cover up after getting a glove on a shot from Backers, with Steen alertly knocking in the loose disc 2:11 in.

Duchene temporarily put an end to the outburst by outracing the Blues defense on a partial breakaway at the 4:36 mark of the period. Four minutes later, however, Jay Bouwmeester made it a 7-2 game by rifling through a drop pass from Tarasenko.

O'Reilly capped the scoring by putting in a rebound of a Jamie McGinn shot with 9:54 remaining.

Game Notes

Steen's two-goal effort extended his point streak to 12 games, the longest by a Blues player since Keith Tkachuk's 12-game run in 2002-03 ... The Avalanche had been 14-0-0 this season when leading or tied after one period ... The victory was the 617th in the career of Blues head coach Ken Hitchcock, tying him with Jacques Lemaire for ninth on the all-time list ... Backers ended a stretch of nine straight games without a goal ... St. Louis finished 3- for-4 on the power play ... The home team has now won nine straight matchups in the series.