The Blues reach the second round of the NHL with an unusual lineup

St. LOUIS (AP) – The St. Louis Blues have been eliminated Minnesota Wild In the first round of the Stanley Cup play-offs with a change of midfield goalkeeper with an unusual lineup.

The team is now heading to Colorado to face the leader Avalanche in the second round.

“I do not mind starting the playoffs while being hosted,” the Blues striker said. David Peron he said. “I think you often have nerves sitting at home. When you start the journey, you are sitting in a hotel with the boys.”

The Blues have twice met Avalanche in the play-offs before, losing both games, including in the first half of last season.

The Blues are confident that they are in a better position to compete with Colorado than last year.

“I think we are definitely a better team than last year,” said Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly. “It will be a very difficult challenge for us. You know, they are one of the best teams in this year, if not better. They are dynamic, too, deep. ”

The Blues have scored at least 20 goals in nine games this season, the most in the NHL.

“This year we are deeper than last year,” said Blues coach Craig Berube. “We are deeper in the front, we are deeper in the back. So I think it’s going to be a tough series. “

The depth of the blues on the blue line was tested against the Wild. St. Louis lost Nicky Lady, Robert Bortuzo և: Tori Krug Injuries in the first three games of the opening round.

Lady և Bortuzo returned for the 5th game, but Krug (lower body) stays every day. Injuries have forced the coaching staff to use a starting line-up of 11 forwards and seven defenders in their last three games against Minnesota.

“There’s a lot in it,” said the Blues striker Tyler Bozak he said. “They (the coaches) see the game differently than we do. They are always behind, they kind of really feel good about who’s doing well, what they think will work for us. So it is clear that they have made some really good decisions in this regard. “

Scott Perunovichwho was called up immediately after Krug’s injury is the seventh defender to take Krug’s place in a power play, scoring 8 vs. 26 against Wild, scoring at least once in each game.

“I know we used a lot of defenders in the series, but they all had jobs, and they did,” Berube said. “It simply came to our notice then. And that was a big reason why we stayed with seven. ”

The Blues have won their last three games against Wilde after becoming a goalkeeper Jordan Bennington In the 4th game. Bennington stopped 84 of 89 shots, which he hit with .944 saves.

“I tried to think of a way to get in there, just to compete, to give the team a chance to win,” said Bennington.

The Blues’ next opponent had enough time to rest.

The Avalanche was the first team to reach the second round of this post-season, sweeping it Nashville Predators:.

Colorado is 4 minutes, 57 seconds behind in its starting lineup, all in the 4th game.

Avalanche averaged 5.25 goals per game, giving the man an 43.8% goal advantage.

The Blues’ penalty kick allowed them to score four goals in 24 attempts (83.3%) in the first half.

“Everyone trusts each other that they will do the right thing, support each other,” Bozak said. “I think it starts with the goalkeeper. “First and foremost, your goalkeeper has to be your best penalty taker, and our goalkeepers have been incredible all year.”

Avalanche is in the semifinals of the Western Conference for the fourth consecutive season.

The “Navy” must find a way to slow down Kale Makar, who had 10 points in the Colorado sweep. He is the first defender in the history of the NHL with 10 points in four games.

“They are a great team, Colorado, we all know that,” said Beruben. “They got a lot of top players. You have to do a lot of things right. ”


Additional AP NHL. ps

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