Newhook scores on birthday, Avalanche beat Blues 4-2
DENVER (AP) — Alex Newhook scored on his birthday for the second straight season, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 on Saturday for their seventh win in eight games.
Evan Rodrigues, J.T. Compher and Matt Nieto also scored for Colorado, and Logan O'Connor had two assists. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 26 shots.
The Avalanche had won six in a row before Thursday night's 5-3 loss to lowly Anaheim. But the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounced back nicely in their final game before their bye week and the NHL All-Star break.
The banged-up Avalanche (27-18-3) could get some key players back after they return. Defensemen Josh Manson and Bowen Byram have been sidelined with lower-body injuries, but they have started skating in non-contact jerseys.
Ivan Barbashev and Brayden Schenn scored for St. Louis (23-24-3) in its fourth consecutive loss. Jordan Binnington made 27 saves.
The Blues were without second-leading scorer Robert Thomas, who left Thursday’s loss at Arizona with a lower-body injury.
Newhook, who turned 22 Saturday, scored his 12th of the season and third in the last four games at 9:22 of the first period.
Compher made it 2-0 when he scored on a rebound at 11:36, and Rodrigues made it 3-0 with his 11th goal 4:48 into the second.
Schenn scored on the power play at 16:27 of the second to get St. Louis on the board. Barbashev trimmed Colorado's lead to 3-2 when he scored on a partial breakaway at 9:40 of the third. It was Barbashev's ninth of the season.
Binnington came off for an extra skater with 1:26 left and Nieto scored into the empty net with 2.7 seconds left, his ninth of the season.
Avalanche RW Valeri Nichushkin missed his second straight game with an upper-body injury. ... With Thomas sidelined, Nikita Alexandrov centered St. Louis' fourth line after being recalled from the minors. ... The Blues have lost four or more games in a row three times this year.
Blues: At Winnipeg on Monday.
Avalanche: At Pittsburgh on Feb. 7.
Michael Kelly, The Associated Press