Avalanche Blues Hockey

Colorado Avalanche's Cale Makar (8) celebrates after scoring during the third period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021, in St. Louis.

J.T. Compher scored twice and the Colorado Avalanche turned in a nearly complete effort, handing the St. Louis Blues their first loss of the season, 4-3.

“Great road game. Came out with a great start and I don’t think we let off the gas, at all, throughout the whole game,” forward Nazem Kadri said. “They pushed back with some timely goals but we responded well.”

Colorado allowed host St. Louis to stick around Thursday. Vladimir Tarasenko scored with four minutes left in the third period, tightening the game’s finish.

The Blues made the most of fewer opportunities. The 42-18 shot differential evoked the dominance of the 2020-21 Avalanche regular season, which they had only been able to channel in fits and starts through six games so far.

The teams already met this young season, but playoff business remained unfinished as Justin Faulk dropped the gloves with Kadri. Goaltender Jordan Binnington later jawed with Kadri and each picked up a 10-minute misconduct. Binnington’s was served by a teammate.

“I’d typically be in there but I stay out,” Kadri said. “We exchange some words, I get a stick swung in my face and then I end up with a 10-minute penalty. That one, I’m not quite sure what it was for.”

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar was more certain.

“You can’t continue to try and escalate an altercation...you can’t do that,” Bednar said. “Sometimes they’ll let you get away with it, but that had already dragged on long enough.”

Between incidents, Kadri scored the Avalanche’s third goal, coming up the wing and beating Binnington's glove side from the faceoff dot.

Brayden Schenn and Cale Makar traded goals 38 seconds apart early in the third period. For the second straight game, Nathan MacKinnon teed up a Makar snipe.

Compher got a good piece of a Ryan Murray (2 assists) shot on his first goal. His second came on the Avalanche’s power play, which is fourth to last in the NHL (11.1%).

“We're not clicking the way we want to right now with the power play. It was good for us to step up in an important part of the game,” Compher said.

Mikko Rantanen was scratched with a lower-body injury, so previously discussed plans to move Gabriel Landeskog to the second line were scrapped. Defenseman Jacob MacDonald filled in as a fourth-line forward in his season debut.

“We just ran out of some room for him at the start of the year, but now here we are with an injury or two and he’s back and he’s playing well,” Bednar said. “Good on him for putting in the work and keeping a positive attitude.”

Darcy Kuemper made 15 saves.

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