Blues withstand late Avalanche rally, win opener

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DENVER — David Perron  scored two goals for the St. Louis Blues, who withstood a late rally by the Colorado Avalanche for a 5-3 win at Ball Arena on Saturday.

Justin Faulk had a goal and an assist, Jordan Kyrou had two assists, and Jordan Binnington made 29 saves for the Blues, who were playing their season opener.

J.T. Compher had a goal and an assist, Tyson Jost and Andre Burakovsky scored, and Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves for the Avalanche (1-1-0).

Faulk gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead at 4:12 of the first period, taking a pass from Kyrou and beating Kuemper blocker side from above the face-off circles.

Brayden Schenn made it 2-0 at 8:35 of the second period. He skated down the right wing, maneuvered by Avalanche defenseman Kurtis MacDermid and shot glove side.

Perron extended the lead to 3-0 at 11:37 on a shot from the top of the right circle.

Burakovsky cut it to 3-1 at 14:09 on a one-timer from the right circle off a cross-ice pass from Nazem Kadri, but Perron scored his second on the power play to make it 4-1 at 6:51 of the third.

Jost closed it to 4-2 at 14:36, tipping in J.T. Compher‘s shot with Kuemper on the bench during a 4-on-4. Avalanche coach Jared Bednar then pulled Kuemper again, and Compher cut it to 4-3 at 16:18 when he converted the rebound of Kadri’s shot. 

Colorado appeared to score its third goal with Kuemper on the bench for the extra attacker at 17:11, but it was determined that Jost kicked the puck into the net with his right skate.

Ryan O’Reilly then scored an empty-net goal with 20 seconds left for the 5-3 final.

Colorado finished the game with 10 forwards after Stefan Matteau sustained a lower-body injury in the first period. Nathan MacKinnon (COVID-19 protocol) missed his second straight game and Gabriel Landeskog served the first of a two-game suspension for boarding Chicago Blackhawks center Kirby Dach in their opener on Wednesday.

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