St. Louis Blues will host the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL playoffs action on Saturday evening. The home side wants to repeat the latest performance and enjoy another success in this series. The visitors search for the way back to the winning track after losing at home in the previous game.
St. Louis showed they could do a lot of damage to the best team from the regular season. Now they head to two games on the home ice, hoping they can pick up where they left off. On the other hand, Colorado hasn’t been very convincing in this series after eliminating the Predators 4-0. Nevertheless, the away side doesn’t want to panic, and they look forward to keeping the tie under control.
St. Louis Blues – Can they surprise the rivals again?
The Blues showed it wasn’t a coincidence they took Game 1 to overtime. Despite losing that one, they managed to beat the Avalanche 4-1 on the road on Thursday evening. It was their fourth success in the last five post-season matches, and the Blues seem to have found their rhythm. After a quiet first period in Game 2, St. Louis secured a 2-0 lead before the final third. They controlled the game to the end and deservedly won. The Blues won 13 faceoffs more than Colorado and had one shot more than their rivals.
David Perron has been the Blues’ most efficient player in the post-season, with a team-high seven goals and a total of 11 points. Ryan O’Reilly has produced ten points in the playoffs, while Vladimir Tarasenko has seven. Pavel Buchnevich and Justin Faulk top the assists charts with six, while Jordan Kyrou has also contributed to St. Louis’s offense with six pts. On the goal, Jordan Binnington has been excellent in the previous two games. He has a .948 save percentage and allows only 1.75 goals in the playoffs.
Expected Line-Up: Jordan Binnington, Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, Ivan Barbashev, Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Kyrou
with best odds
Colorado Avalanche – Will they get back the home-ice advantage?
The Avalanche have started this series slowly, and they suffered the first defeat in the post-season on Thursday evening. They got away with an overtime win in Game 1, but they couldn’t do anything against the inspired Blues in the second encounter. Colorado wasn’t sharp enough in the offense on Thursday evening, and they couldn’t prevent a 4-1 defeat. They had one shot less than their rivals while winning 13 faceoffs less than St. Louis. The Avs need to find a solution to crack the Blues’ tight defense to grab the home-ice advantage back.
Cale Makar is the Avs’ best assistant with seven while contributing to the team’s offense with ten points. Gabriel Landeskog is one point away from the 10-mark, while Nathan MacKinnon has a team-high five goals and eight pts. Mikko Rantanen has chipped in with seven points, while Devon Toews produced five. Nazem Kadri and Valeri Nichushkin managed to contribute with four points each in the post-season. On the other hand, Darcy Kuemper has been the first-choice goalie for the Avs, making five appearances and having a .923 save percentage.
Expected Line-Up: Darcy Kuemper, Erik Johnson, Cale Makar, Nazem Kadri, Andre Burakovsky, Nathan MacKinnon
Expert Pick #1 – St. Louis Blues to win @+145
Colorado is among the hottest favorites for Stanley Cup, and one defeat won’t change their plans significantly. But this is going to be a tougher series for them than expected, and the Blues could take advantage of a better momentum. There’s a value in backing the hosts at the plus money odds for the first pick.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 6.5 @-105
Although the Avs have an explosive offense, they couldn’t do much against St. Louis in the first two encounters. I believe these two sides will continue in the same fashion, and we shouldn’t see more than six goals in total. Give me the Under as the second bet.
Expert Pick #3 – Avalanche Under 3.5 @-115
Jordan Binnington has held the defense tight so far, and he’s been brilliant so far in the series. With the Blues playing on the home ice, I believe they can hold their rivals to three goals at most. It is going to be my third pick for this matchup.