DENVER (AP) — David Perron scored two goals, Jordan Binnington stopped 29 shots and the St. Louis Blues held on for a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche in their season opener on Saturday night.
Justin Faulk had a goal and an assist, while Brayden Schenn also scored for the Blues.
Colorado center Nathan MacKinnon, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, was out for the second straight game but coach Jared Bednar returned to the bench after missing Wednesday’s game due to COVID-19 protocols.
Captain Gabriel Landeskog served the first of his two-game suspension for a boarding call on Wednesday, leaving the Avalanche without two members of their top line.
Colorado trailed 4-1 when Tyson Jost scored at 14:36 of the third and J.T. Compher made it a one-goal game at 16:18. The Avalanche appeared to tie it with 2:49 left but a replay review determined it was scored with a kicking motion.
Ryan O’Reilly sealed it with an empty-net goal with 20 seconds remaining.
Faulk scored just 4:12 into the game and Schenn added to the Avalanche’s misery when he beat Darcy Kuemper to the short side to put the Blues ahead by two goals at 8:35 of the second.
Kuemper had 23 saves.
Perron, whose status before the game was in question, made it 3-0 when he scored at 11:37 of the second. Colorado got one back when Andre Burakovsky scored at 14:09, but Perron answered early in the third on a power play to restore the three-goal lead.
HONORING THE ARCHITECT
Colorado honored the late Pierre Lacroix, who was the general manager during the team’s two Stanley Cup seasons, before the game. Lacroix died Dec. 13, 2020, at age 72 after contracting COVID-19.
His wife, Coco, children and grandchildren were in attendance and a video tribute commemorating his career with the Quebec Nordiques and Avalanche was shown on the giant scoreboard.
A painting of Lacroix holding the Stanley Cup after the 1996 finals was unveiled and general manager Joe Sakic spoke. Sakic, along with former Colorado players Peter Forsberg, Ray Bourque, Milan Hejduk and Adam Foote, helped raise a banner honoring Lacroix to the rafters.
NOTES: Colorado F Valeri Nichushkin was out with an upper-body injury. ... St. Louis C Klim Kostin was scratched. ... Colorado C Stefan Matteau left after the first period with a lower-body injury.
St. Louis: At Arizona on Monday night.
Colorado: At Washington on Tuesday to start a three-game road trip.
Michael Kelly, The Associated Press