ST. LOUIS (AP) — Mikko Rantanen scored in the final seconds of regulation and the first minute of overtime to complete his fifth career hat trick and give the Colorado Avalanche a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Sunday.
“We’re missing a lot of guys, a lot of veteran guys, especially up front,” Rantanen said. “I try to do my best, and even little bit more, in this situation. We need a lot to win games, and tonight was one of those.”
Rantanen’s second goal of the game came with nine seconds left in regulation, forcing the extra period. He sealed the comeback win 29 seconds into overtime. Pavel Francouz made 30 saves and the Avalanche snapped a five-game winless streak.
“I liked our competitiveness all night,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “It wasn’t the perfect game from us by any stretch, but I did like the way we competed, the way we stuck with it. I think everyone was emotionally invested in the game.”
Vladimir Tarasenko and Brandon Saad scored for the Blues, losers of eight of their last 10 games. Jordan Binnington stopped 28 of 31 shots for the Blues, who had allowed four goals in nine straight games.
“That’s the way it goes sometimes when things aren’t going well,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “It’s a good point. I thought we did a lot of good things.”
Rantanen scored his 19th of the season early in OT when he pushed the rebound of a shot by Cale Makar past Binnington, completing his second hat trick of the season.
“The message going into overtime was to kind of just remind them of some of the things we’ve been talking about,” Bednar said. “The way we played the other night and created a few chances to win the game, we couldn’t score. Tonight we came out and kind of did the same thing and just got an opportunity early and ended it.”
Rantanen swatted a loose puck in the crease past Binnington in the final seconds of regulation to tie the game.
Brayden Schenn was serving a penalty for interference when Saad beat J.T. Compher to a puck in the Colorado zone and scored his sixth of the season to give St. Louis a 2-1 lead with 1:36 remaining in the third.
Tarasenko tied the game 1-all with his eighth the season on a power play nine seconds after Cale Makar was sent off for a double-minor penalty for high sticking 7:59 into the third period.
Rantanen opened the scoring 10:58 into the second period.
Berube coached his 300th regular season game with the Blues. He was first named as interim head coach on Nov. 19, 2018.
BLACK AND BLUE:
Blues LW Pavel Buchnevich missed his third straight game with a lower body injury, but Berube said before the game that he expects Buchnevich to return Monday. … Avalanche C Nathan MacKinnon missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury.
Avalanche: Open a five-game homestand on Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Blues: Close a three-game home stand Monday against Nashville.
By DAVID SOLOMON, Associated Press