ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mikko Rantanen and J.T. Compher each had a goal and an assist and the Colorado Avalanche won their fourth straight with a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night.
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Brandon Saad also scored, and Liam O’Brien had a pair of assists for Colorado, which improved to 17-1-2 since March 10, setting a mark for the best 20-game stretch in franchise history.
Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in his Avalanche debut after being acquired from San Jose on Saturday.
Mike Hoffman had two goals and an assist, Vince Dunn scored, and Jordan Binnington made 24 saves for the Blues, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
St. Louis remained one point ahead of Arizona with two games in hand in the race for the final playoff spot in the West Division.
The Avalanche took control with a dominant second period.
Compher broke a 1-1 tie at the 2:52 mark, swatting in a rebound of an O’Brien tip that trickled through Binnington’s pads. Connor Timmins, called up from the AHL prior to the game, got his first NHL point with an assist on the goal.
Rantanen’s slap shot from the point found its way through traffic to make it 3-1 Avalanche at 5:17. Nathan MacKinnon got the secondary assist to extend his scoring streak to 11 games.
Saad blasted a one-timer with 8:43 left in the second to give Colorado a three-goal lead.
The three-goal outburst in the second allowed the Avalanche to withstand a late comeback bid by the Blues.
Hoffman banked the puck in off Dubnyk’s back to cut it to 4-2 early in the third period. Hoffman scored again on the power play with 3:16 left to cut the deficit to one.
Bellemare gave the Avalanche a 1-0 lead midway through the first period, scoring off a drop pass from O’Brien, who won the puck in the left circle.
Dunn tied the game with a power-play goal on a tip from a Tyler Bozak feed with 4:40 left in the first. Dunn has nine points in his last 11 games.
F Carl Soderberg made his Avalanche debut after being acquired Monday from Chicago for forwards Ryder Rolston and Josh Dickinson. Soderberg played for Colorado from 2015-19.
Avalanche G Philipp Grubauer was placed on NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list on Wednesday.
Blues F Brayden Schenn played in his 700th career game.
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This was the first of four meetings between the Avalanche and Blues in the next 10 days. All of the games will be at Enterprise Center.
Avalanche: Host Los Angeles Kings on Friday night.
Blues: Travel to Arizona on Saturday night.
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