ST. LOUIS — In the regular season, the Blues' backbone was their depth. They had nine players score 20 or more goals in 2021-22.
In the team's biggest moment of the year so far, their depth came through again thanks to Tyler Bozak.
Bozak, who logged the second-fewest minutes of ice time for the Blues in Game 5 against Colorado, scored 3 minutes and 38 seconds into overtime to keep his team's season alive and send the series back to Colorado.
Bozak's goal capped off a crazy comeback in Colorado for the Blues, who were down 3-0 as late as 15 minutes into the second period.
Jordan Kyrou got a goal with under five minutes left to tie it at three. Then, Avs' star Nathan MacKinnon went coast-to-coast to give Colorado the lead back with under three minutes to play.
And finally, Robert Thomas netted a goal to tie the game at 4 with under a minute left in regulation, which sent the game to overtime.
According to the Blues, they're the first team to score two game-tying goals in the final five minutes of regulation when facing playoff elimination.
Overtime was Bozak's time to shine. He slung a shot past Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper to complete the all-time comeback.
"Just a resilient group of guys. Got down and didn't want the season to be over and fought hard and got some big goals late. And (I) was lucky enough to be on the end of the one in overtime. But yeah, it was awesome and we're excited for next game," Bozak said after the game.
On the fourth line, Bozak was likely not anyone's pick to net the game-winner in OT. In fact, he saw almost no ice time in the third period at all.
"In the third, it's about getting back and tying it up, so I'm rolling three lines most of the time. It's not that you don't want to play these guys, but you're trying to catch up here and win a game and tie it up. But when you get into OT I think you've got to start over again and get your guys out there and rotate them and get playing because if you don't you're going to burn your top nine out," Blues head coach Craig Berube said after the win.
Berube was fired up in the locker room after Game 5, shouting out "Bozie, baby!" congratulating Bozak and his team in a video posted by the Blues.
"This team's come from behind quite a bit this year in games, so they don't give up. They just kept playing and battling, and that's all on them," Berube said.
The Blues know their work isn't done yet, though. Game 6 back in St. Louis will be another must-win if they want to keep their season alive.
"Obviously we want to use this as momentum but at the same time they're a really good hockey team over there. We know they're gonna push and we're gonna have to be at our best if we want to beat them next game," Bozak said.