Alexandar Georgiev was ready for anything in the second period. And ultimately, he got the last laugh over Jordan Binnington.
Despite a third period push by the St. Louis Blues, the Colorado Avalanche held on for their seventh win in eight games, defeating the road team by a score of 4-2. Things got feisty in the second period, and it looked like the goaltenders might meet at center ice, but maybe it’s a good thing they didn’t.
Because the Avalanche needed theirs down the stretch.
Georgiev made 26 saves, including nine in the third period, to hold off the late push by the Blues, and send the Avalanche into the break on a high note. The fans chanted his name multiple times during the game, while they booed Binnington anytime the puck came near him.
Alex Newhook, J.T. Compher, Evan Rodrigues, and Matt Nieto scored the goals for the Avalanche. Logan O’Connor chipped in with two assists.
Brayden Schenn and Ivan Barbashev added the goals for the Blues.
The birthday boy, Newhook, got things started for the Avalanche.
9:22 into the game, O’Connor took a hit to make a play, chipping the puck past Robert Bortuzzo, who finished his hit on O’Connor. The puck went to Newhook, whose first shot was stopped by Binnington, but he got his own rebound and deposited it past the Blues goaltender, giving the Avalanche the early lead.
A little over two minutes later, another juicy rebound benefited the Avalanche.
After some hard work to recover the puck, it went to Sam Girard at the point. His low shot was kicked out by Binnington directly to a crashing Compher. The American forward put the puck around Binnington’s leg and into the net, giving his team a two goal lead. They carried that lead into the first intermission.
The second period had some theatrics.
4:48 into the period, Rodrigues extended the lead to three off a nice feed from MacKinnon. Artturi Lehkonen didn’t pick up a point, but his center lane drive created space for Rodrigues to shoot.
Then, the fireworks started.
With a little under five minutes left in the period, O’Connor took a swipe at a rebound. Binnington took exception to that. He chased O’Connor into the corner, and Kurtis MacDermid came into the corner to help out O’Connor. At center ice, Georgiev was ready and waiting to help, but the refs yelled at him to get back in his net.
The Blues ended up with a powerplay after the mess, and Binnington heard it from the home crowd as it went to commercial.
Schenn scored on the ensuing powerplay to cut the lead back down to two. That’s how the period ended.
The Avalanche started another third period slow, and paid for it.
After a sloppy powerplay for the Avalanche, the Blues got within one. Barbashev stole the puck from Ben Meyers at the offensive blueline and got in on a breakaway. He beat Georgiev high, cutting the lead to one.
It got close late, but the Avalanche held on, thanks to some big saves from Georgiev. Nieto added an empty netter to seal it late and give the home team the 4-2 win.
The Avalanche now head into their bye week. With the All-Star break right after, they won’t play again until Feb. 7, when they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins.