NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Colorado 1 2 1 4
St. Louis 1 0 2 3
5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT, October 28, 2021
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 16,558

Blues have big skates to fill with Avs next

Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues

  1. The Blues beat the Avalanche, 5-3, in Denver 12 days ago, with David Perron scoring twice for St. Louis. Colorado swept the Blues in the first round of the 2021 playoffs, winning each game by at least a three-goal margin. The Avs won five of their nine games versus St. Louis in the 2020-21 regular season.
  2. Colorado is 1-4-0 in its last five games. In each of those games the Avs scored no more than three goals while allowing at least three goals. It's the longest streak of its kind for Colorado since a six-game stretch in 2019 (Jan. 21-Feb. 9).
  3. Defenseman Cale Makar scored his first goal of the season in Colorado's 3-1 loss to Vegas on Tuesday. Over his first two NHL seasons (2019-20 and 2020-21), the Avs were 15-2-1 in the 18 games in which Makar scored at least one goal.
  4. The Blues have won their first five games of a season for the first time in franchise history. Each of their wins was by two goals or more. That ties the NHL record for consecutive wins by at least a two-goal margin to begin a season, a mark set by the original Ottawa Senators in 1920-21 and previously equaled by the Nordiques in 1994-95 and the Sharks in 2012-13.
  5. Vladimir Tarasenko scored two goals in the Blues' win on Monday. It was Tarasenko's first multiple-goal game this season and the 32nd of his NHL/Blues career. The only players with more multi-goal games for St. Louis than Tarasenko are Brett Hull (120), Bernie Federko (57), Garry Unger (47), Brian Sutter (45) and Brendan Shanahan (36).
  6. Jordan Binnington has won his last six regular-season games (the last two in 2020-21 and all four this season). Binnington's only longer winning streak in the NHL was in 2019, when he won nine consecutive decisions (Jan. 23-Feb. 19).
(AP Photo/Scott Kane)

The St. Louis Blues will have to adjust to life without captain Ryan O'Reilly when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

O'Reilly will be sidelined for at least 10 days in COVID-19 protocol. He played an integral role in the team's franchise-best 5-0-0 start.

He typically centers the top line, anchors the No. 1 power-play unit, kills penalties and takes the important faceoffs. His absence will be noticed when the Blues face the Avalanche at Enterprise Center.

"It's a challenge," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "We have good depth here. Everybody's going to have to step up and next guy up. That kind of attitude and go from there."

During Wednesday's practice, Berube kept his effective line of Robert Thomas centering Ivan Barbashev and Vladimir Tarasenko together. Brayden Schenn took O'Reilly's place on the first line between David Perron and Klim Kostin, while Tyler Bozak moved up from the fourth line to center Jordan Kyrou and Pavel Buchnevich.

Dakota Joshua, just back from the AHL, replaced Bozak on the fourth line.

"There's a lot of minutes to be grabbed there," defenseman Robert Bortuzzo said. "I think guys are going to be champing at the bit to fill some of these areas whether it's starting out on the PK or filling in on the power play, taking that challenge of playing the other team's top line. I'm sure there's many guys in that room who are bummed that he's out but excited for the challenge."

Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche are trying to get on track after regaining star center Nathan MacKinnon from protocol. The Avalanche fell to 2-4-0 with their 3-1 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights Tuesday night.

"We're sort of stumbling and bumbling along right now, so there's a level of concern," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said after that game. "It's not like, 'Well, we just didn't play good tonight and (we're) moving on to the next one.'

"Part of what we talked about today was that if we win tonight and we're able to get to .500, now we can start (moving) above .500 if we do our job. If you lose, you drop two games back, and now we'll see how long it takes us to get back. It could be seven days, it could be 10 days, it could be a month."

Playing without MacKinnon, the Avalanche lost to the Blues 5-3 on Oct. 16 in Denver.

He is back on the top line with Gabriel Landeskog and Mikko Rantanen, but the Avalanche have been missing several injured players: Samuel Girard (upper body), Devon Toews (upper body), forwards Valeri Nichushkin (upper body) and Stefan Matteau (lower body), and goaltender Pavel Francouz (lower body).

Besides O'Reilly, the Blues are missing forwards Oskar Sundqvist (knee surgery) and Brandon Saad (COVID-19 protocol).

"You can't overthink it. It is what it is and the best way to deal with it is move on and wait for these guys to get healthy and get back," Berube said. "But in the meantime, go play hockey."

--Field Level Media

Updated October 28, 2021

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