Nazem Kadri's buzzer-beater with one-tenth of a second remaining in the game was the difference as the Colorado Avalanche claimed a thrilling 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues in Sunday's Western Conference round-robin clash in Edmonton.
With the Avalanche on a power play and buzzing around the net with all kinds of chances, Kadri pounced on a loose puck in the slot and fired it home just before the clock hit zero in both teams' first clash since the NHL resumed play after the 4 1/2-month pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It took a lengthy review before it was declared to be a good goal, and served as a thrilling finish as both clubs began gearing up for the upcoming Stanley Cup playoffs. Although the Avalanche, Blues, Dallas Stars and Vegas Golden Knights all have punched tickets to the Stanley Cup playoffs, they will play a mini-tournament to decide seeding in the opening round that will also feature teams advancing through the qualifying round series.
Despite the Avalanche holding a drastic edge in play, Blues forward David Perron opened the scoring with a power-play goal at 16:46 of the opening frame. Perron set up shop at the top of the left circle and hammered a one-timer over the glove of Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer. It was just his team's third shot of the period compared to the 15 fired by Colorado.
Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves finally solved Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and cued the comeback when he evened the count at 5:33 of the third period. Graves, who led the league in plus-minus during the truncated regular season, whiffed on a pass attempt in the high slot and regained the handle before burying a high wrist shot to make it a 1-1 affair.
Grubauer finished with 31 saves to record the win, while Binnington stopped 36 shots for the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Colorado's next clash is Wednesday against the Stars, while the Blues return to action on Thursday against the Golden Knights.
--Field Level Media