Vladimir Tarasenko does not like talking about himself, but Alex Pietrangelo does not mind talking about his teammate.
Tarasenko on Monday had a goal and two assists to help the St Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-1, snapping a four-game losing streak.
“When he gets going, he’s hard to handle,” Pietrangelo said about Tarasenko. “His game is more well-rounded than you think. He doesn’t get enough credit.”
For his part, Tarasenko wanted to talk about how big the win was for the struggling Blues.
“We played for 60 minutes and it was a pretty good effort by everybody,” Tarasenko said. “This was a big game for us. They are the best team in the league right now. This was a good test. They have a lot of skilled players. I think we played really well.”
Blues coach Craig Berube liked what he saw from this club.
“This was our best game of the season,” Berube said. “We just worked. We were stingy.”
Brayden Schenn and David Perron also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who went into the game with their longest skid since April 4 last year.
Jordan Binnington finished with 17 saves.
“We played a great game. That’s how we need to play every night,” Binnington said. “Hopefully, we can build off this.”
Nathan MacKinnon scored for Colorado, who were the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss and fell to 7-1-1.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 22 shots.
“It looked like we ran out of gas here tonight,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “They were the hungrier team and when they’re on the puck first with their numbers all the time, it just makes it difficult if you don’t have the legs.”
The Blues swept the four-game series last season and their latest win moved them to 8-1-0 in their past nine home games against Colorado. The Blues are 15-3-0 over the Avalanche at home since April 5, 2011.
MacKinnon became the first player in Avalanche history to score at least a point in the each of the team’s first nine games in consecutive seasons.
He tied the mark to start one season, set previously by John-Michael Liles in 2010-2011, and matched by MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen last season.
MacKinnon became the fifth player in history with a season-opening point streak of at least nine games in consecutive seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky, Charlie Simmer, Guy Lafleur and Rod Gilbert.
However, that was all the offense Colorado generated on the night.
It was the lowest scoring game and lowest shot total (18) this season for the Avalanche.
“To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered if they had their ‘A’ game or their ‘C’ game tonight,” Gabriel Landeskog said. “We just weren’t good enough and on a night like tonight we’re not going to beat too many teams.”
Colorado forward Ratanen left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury. He did not return.
“As far as I know, we’ll just have to re-evaluate him in the morning and see what happens,” Bednar said.
Elsewhere, the Blue Jackets mastered the Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime, the Flyers flayed the Golden Knights 6-2 and the Stars slayed the Senators 2-1.
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