As the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues entered Game 5, there was a certain energy in the air. This is Colorado’s chance to snape a 20 year dry spell of not making it past the 2nd round. For St. Louis, this is their last chance to get back in the series against the team that swept them in the first round of the 2021 playoffs.
When the puck dropped, both teams came out with a bang! The Blues and Avs were both skating hard and trying to take advantage of every chance given to them. Halfway through the first period, Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon was able to get one past Blues’ stand-in goalie Husso to put the Avs up 1-0. MacKinnon has been held scoreless in the first 4 games of the series, so this was a visible weight lifted off his shoulders.
As the 1st continued, MacKinnon was playing like a man possessed! Flying up and down the ice, creating chances not only for him, but his teammates as well. Husso, however is not a pushover in the crease as he anchored the Blues through the second half of the regular season.
Later in the 1st period, MacKinnon was able to get another one behind the goalie and put the Avalanche up 2-0.
4 minutes into the 2nd period, Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog found his chance and with an assist from MacKinnon, was able to put the Avalanche up 3-0. The life seemed to be fading from the Blues. Being the road team in a very difficult arena, and down by 3 on the scoreboard can seem almost insurmountable.
But, the Blues weren’t giving up yet. With just over 5 minutes left in the 2nd, Blues standout Vladimir Tarasenko was able to sneak one past goalie Darcy Kuemper. This seemingly gave the Blues some life, and the 2nd period ended with a score of 3-1.
Moving into the 3rd period, the Blues had to lay it all on the line. For them, this 20 minute period will decide if they get sent home yet again by the Avs, or if they can extend the series another game to get back in front of their home crowd.
Through the first half of the 3rd period, it was a lot more of the same from both sides. The Avalanche showed no signs of letting up, continuing to create scoring chances and a lot of pressure in the offensive zone. The Blues on the other hand, looked like they were hanging by a thread.
With 10 minutes left in regulation, Robert Thomas was able to sneak one off the short side top post to cut the Blues deficit in half. Score was now 3-2 and there are signs of lift on the St. Louis bench.
In miraculous fashion, the Blues were able to create seemingly endless pressure in the offensive zone. After several close calls, Justin Faulk was able to sink it into the net, tying the game at 3 with 4:46 let to go in regulation. This makes 3 unanswered goals scored by the Blues since the 2nd period. While the momentum seems to have shifted slightly to St. Louis, the Avalanche can’t be overlooked.
Exactly 2 minutes later, Nathan MacKinnon gained control of the puck and EXPLODED out of his own end. Driving down the ice, he was outnumbered 4-1. As real estate was running out, he was able to take it upstairs and get it past Husso to go back up 4-3.
This goal completed the hat trick for MacKinnon. This is the second game in a row where a Colorado player has had a hat trick against Blues goalie Husso. With 2:46 left, the Blues seemed to have the air leave their sails.
In a final attempt to keep their season alive, with 2:15 in regulation, Blues’ goalie Husso went to the bench, giving his team an extra attacker. With 0:56 left in regulation, the St. Louis Blues were able to get past Kuemper to tie the game 4-4. Regulation ended with Avs slightly outshooting the Blues 29-28. With both teams this good, it is no surprise that when one of them is looking at elimination, the game would go into overtime.
As the puck dropped to start overtime, both teams were flying around the ice. Shortly into overtime, the Blues’ were able to sink another one and put an end to this game, winning 5-4 in overtime. This forces a Game 6 in the series, where both teams will head back to St. Louis. The series is now 3-2 in favor of the Avalanche and Game 6 will still be an elimination game for the Blues.