It is going to be awfully difficult to top this finish in the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Thanks to a literal buzzer beater from Nazem Kadri, the Colorado Avalanche were 2-1 winners over the St. Louis Blues in round-robin play on Sunday night.
Kadri’s goal — a power play goal — was scored with just 0.1 seconds remaining on the clock. It was so close that it required a lengthy review from the league to determine if the puck had actually completely crossed the goal line before the clock had hit zero.
The goal capped off a dominant power play performance by the Avalanche where they peppered Blues goalie Jordan Binnington with shots and chances, including a near-miss by Kadri just a few seconds earlier.
With the win the Avalanche pick up a huge win in round-robin play and take a big step toward the No. 1 overall seed in the Western Conference.
Kadri was one of Colorado’s big offseason additions, having been acquired in a blockbuster trade that sent defenseman Tyson Barrie to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He helped fill a huge need in Colorado’s lineup by improving their forward depth and giving them a legit second-line center to help take some of the pressure off of their All-Star top line.
Ryan Graves also scored for the Avalanche, tying the game earlier in the third period.
A few other takeaways from Sunday’s game…
- This turned out to be a really strong goaltenders duel between Jordan Binnington (Blues) and Philipp Grubauer (Avalanche). Binnington takes the tough luck loss for the Blues in this one after stopping 36 out of 38 shots. Grubauer, meanwhile, stopped 31 shots allowing only a power play goal to David Perron in the first period.
- Vladimir Tarasenko played his first game for the Blues since Oct. 24 and was eased back into action. He played 14 minutes and recorded a pair of shots on goals. Since there is no risk of the Blues being eliminated in this round there should not be any pressure to rush him back into action. At this point it is more important to get him back to game speed and keep him healthy.
- There was one concerning moment for the Blues in this one when top defenseman Alex Pietrangelo was hit in the back of the leg by an Ian Cole slap shot in the game’s final minute. Pietrangelo immediately dropped to the ice and was slow getting back to the bench.
- Nathan MacKinnon looked incredible for the Avalanche, playing 23 minutes, recording five shots on goal, and recording an assist on Kadri’s game-winning goal. His line dominated and carried the pace of play when it was on the ice. As it always tends to do.