ST. LOUIS — It was a big night for the latest archenemy of St. Louis sports fans as the Avalanche pushed the Blues to the brink of elimination with a 6-3 win in Game 4 of their second-round series on Monday night.
Colorado now leads the series 3 games to 1, needing just one more win to move on to the Western Conference Final.
Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri, who had come under fire after a collision with Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington in Game 3, netted a hat trick in the Game 4 win for Colorado.
The incident in Game 3 wasn't Kadri's first run-in with the Blues, after a suspension for a high hit on St. Louis defenseman Justin Faulk last season.
The Avalanche reported that Kadri had received threats after Game 3, with the St. Louis police even getting involved.
As for Game 4, here's how the Avs' win broke down.
David Perron started the scoring with his eighth goal of the playoffs to beat Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper on a nifty move in the first period.
The second period was owned early by the Avalanche, though.
Former Blues defenseman Erik Johnson got the Avs on the board to make it 1-1.
Then, St. Louis public enemy No. 1 Kadri gave the Avalanche a 2-1 lead with a shot that found the back of the net past Ville Husso.
The Avalanche piled it on with two more goals in the second, first from Colorado defenseman Devon Toews and then another goal from Kadri to make it 4-1 Avalanche.
There was also some fireworks involving Kadri again in the second. Kadri bumped Perron after a whistle which caused Blues forward Pavel Buchnevich to knock Kadri to the ice. Perron then joined in with a crosscheck as he flew onto a fallen Kadri. Perron and Buchnevich both received 2 minute minors.
The Blues showed some much-needed life to close out the second period, though.
Perron scored his ninth goal of the playoffs and second of the game to make it 4-2.
Then, Buchnevich came through on a loose puck in the crease to net his first goal of the playoffs to make it a 4-3 game heading into the third period.
Kadri got his third goal of the game to complete the hat trick close to halfway through the third period to make it a 5-3 game.
Colorado's Mikko Rantanen scored an empty-net goal with time winding down to make it a 6-3 game, which is how it wrapped up.
Husso stopped 29 of 34 shots in his first start since Game 3 of the first round against Minnesota.
The Blues now head to Denver for Game 5 at Ball Arena. That game is slated to start at 7 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday. A Game 6 in St. Louis on Friday (if necessary) is also scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Central Time.
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