On a night when the Colorado Avalanche got a rare victory, the St. Louis Blues also left as a big winner in the loss.
Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene scored shootout goals, Calvin Pickard had 27 saves through overtime and two more in the shootout and the Avalanche beat the Blues 2-1 on Friday night.
Jake Allen had 31 saves and Ryan Reaves scored for the Blues, who clinched a playoff spot by earning a point. They are 11-1-2 in their last 14 games and are heading to the final week of the season playing well — even with this setback.
“Obviously, a huge point for us getting in the playoffs,” Reaves said. “Looking back at where we were a couple months ago, I think we’ve played a lot of good hockey.”
The Blues are in the postseason for the sixth straight season and are in the hunt for a top-three finish in the Central Division, which would mean avoiding a first-round matchup against a division winner. They have 91 points, three more than fourth-place Nashville and both teams have five games remaining.
“I’m glad that we’re playing big, meaningful games at this time of the year,” Blues coach Mike Yeo said. “Hard games force you to be at your best and it challenges us to get better as a group.”
The Avalanche ended a seven-game skid with the win and put a damper on St. Louis’ celebration. J.T. Compher scored in regulation and MacKinnon also had an assist.
Duchene opened the shootout with a goal, and after rookie Tyson Jost was stopped by Allen, MacKinnon ended it.
Pickard stopped Alexander Steen and Vladimir Tarasenko in the shootout to give Colorado its first win since March 15.
“It’s been tough,” Pickard said. “The last seven, eight games we’ve had good portions and we just can’t find a way. It’s nice to finally find a way and break the losing streak.”
Reaves scored on a tip in the first period to give St. Louis the lead, and Compher tied it with a power-play goal at 11:49 of the second period.
Mikko Rantanen had a chance to give Colorado the win in overtime, but Allen made a save on his breakaway in the final minute.