Newhook scores 1st NHL goal as Avalanche place Blues on brink of elimination
St. Louis coach Berube takes aim at '1-sided' officiating following loss
Ryan Graves had a goal and two assists, Philipp Grubauer made 31 saves, and the Colorado Avalanche used a three-goal second period to beat the St. Louis Blues 5-1 on Friday night and take a 3-0 series lead in their first-round West Division matchup.
Alex Newhook scored his first NHL goal, and Tyson Jost, Brandon Saad and J.T. Compher also scored for the Avalanche, who can complete a series sweep Sunday in Game 4 in St. Louis.
"I think we're a little opportunistic tonight," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. "We had some good opportunities to score some goals, we didn't execute that well at times and same thing with our breakouts and in the neutral zone."
Graves broke a scoreless tie at 1:57 of the second period. Graves, who had just gotten out of the penalty box, beat Binnington in a race for a loose puck in left circle and chipped it in the empty net.
"I don't know how it squeaked out, but it kind of squeaked out in a really good spot for me and fortunately it was the second period, so I had to jump on their guy," Graves said.
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Newhook made it 2-0, burying a rebound off a slap shot by Graves with 7:23 left in the second.
"We knew they're going to come out hard, obviously down 2-0 back in their building, so it's just all part of hockey, it's momentum swings," Saad said. "We knew they're going to have that push and I think we did a good job of sticking with it."
Colorado added to its lead with 3:52 left in the second on a diving swipe of the puck by Jost, finishing off a rush moments after Grubauer got in front of a point-blank chance for Jordan Kyrou.
Blues coach Craig Berube was not pleased with the officiating.
"In every game, we get one or two calls," Berube said. "It's usually late in the third period. They're getting four a game or five, how many did they get tonight? Five? It's not that lopsided. I'm not sure why we don't get the calls we deserve. [Colton] Parayko gets tripped in the corner, slew-footed, and they don't call it, OK? And it cost us a goal.
"It's terrible! It's so one-sided, it's not even funny."
Grubauer was stellar from the start, making 25 saves in the first two periods and several more in the third period as a desperate Blues team tried to come back.
"You just don't even notice that he's been so good in there, he just makes saves so effortless," Graves said. "So, time and time again, he bails us out when we make mistakes."
Saad's second goal of the playoffs with 6:18 left in the third sealed the win for the Avalanche. Compher added an empty-net goal.