Blues pummel Avalanche 7-3

News-DemocratNovember 14, 2013 

— This was a game the Colorado Avalanche could not have seen coming -- and one St. Louis Blues fans were only too happy to experience.

After holding opponents to two goals or fewer 15 times in their first 17 games on the way to a franchise-record 14-3 start under first-year Hall of Fame coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche were taken to the woodshed Thursday by the Blues.

The Blues (12-2-3) rang up four goals in a dominant second period that included three fights as they pounded the Avalanche 7-3 in a battle of Western Conference heavyweights.

NHL goals leader Alexander Steen tacked on two more goals to run his season total to 16 in just 17 games and his career-high point streak to 12 games.

T. J. Oshie had a career-high four-point night on four assists and the Blues also went 3-for-4 on the power play.

"It feels good to beat a good team," said Oshie, who assisted on the first three goals and pushed his team-leading total to 14. "I don't think the score reflects how good of a team they are, they are really good. I'm not sure if we caught them on an off night or we played that well through our depth, but it was good to get the two points."

The Blues' top line of Steen, Oshie and David Backes combined for three goals and nine points.

Oshie continues to be amazed by Steen, who is tied for the league scoring lead with Sidney Crosby with 24 points.

Has Oshie ever experienced a teammate as hot as Steen?

"I haven't seen it," Oshie said. "But if there's anyone that I've ever played with that deserves it, it's him. He works his butt off, whether it's game day or practice day. He's always in the gym, he's always working hard on the ice doing everything the team needs

"It's nice to see him get the success."

Colorado surrendered four goals in a span of 11 minutes, 50 seconds during the second period before the Blues tacked on a couple more goals in the final 20 minutes.

The Blues' goal total was their highest total since a 7-0 win over Florida on Oct. 5.

Tied 1-1 after one period, Backes gave the Blues a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal after a pass from Oshie deflected off Colorado's Cory Sarich. That ended a nine-game goal drought for Backes.

It marked the second time the Blues have scored fewer than nine seconds into a power play against the Avs.

Backes said the key to the power play Thursday was firing as many shots as possible.

"We simplified and started shooting the puck, found a few ugly ones in front," Backes said. "We hopefully learned our lesson that getting cute and scoring one out of 20 that are pretty isn't worth it, when we can score a couple a game if we just do things the hard way --shoot the puck, find rebounds and put it in the back of the net."

Steen got a puck out of the corner from Backes and rifled a shot past Avs goaltender J.S. Giguere. Steen's goal also chased Giguere, who allowed three goals on 14 shots.

Before Thursday, Giguere was 5-0 with two shutouts and had allowed only five goals on 165 shots. He was replaced by Semyon Varlamov, but that didn't stop the onslaught.

Vladimir Tarasenko took advantage of an aggressive move through the defense by Patrik Berglund and beat Varlamov with a quick shot for his sixth goal.

Former Colorado player Chris Stewart made it 5-1. That goal came with 5:21 remaining in the second period, but there was still plenty of time for three fights in a span of less than three minutes.

Stewart handled Sarich in his bout, while Vladimir Sobotka was the aggressor in his fight with Matt Duchene. After Oshie dumped Jamie McGinn with a reverse shoulder hit, another fight broke out and Blues winger Ryan Reaves left no doubt about the winner.

Reaves rained big right hands down on Cody McLeod until the officials managed to break it up,.

"In this world you're going to be on both sides of those and credit to them for stepping up when their team's down, needing momentum," Backes said. "Our guys obviously did a good job. There's a respect factor there, rubbing it in or trying to push their nose in the sand can come back and bite you in the butt."

Steen struck again early in the third period when he pounced on the rebound of a seemingly harmless high shot that Backes had thrown on net.

The Blues took the lead just five seconds into an early power play as Oshie's shot from the left faceoff circle was deflected in from the slot by Derek Roy.

That ended Colorado's streak of 20 straight penalty kills on the road.

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, or on Twitter @NormSanders

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