NHL

Ryan O’Reilly scores hat trick as Avalanche squanders early two-goal lead at St. Louis – The Denver Post

Former Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly produced a hat trick Saturday as the St. Louis Blues rallied from an early two-goal deficit to defeat the Avs 5-3 at Enterprise Center.

Colorado’s loss was just its second in 12 games, and second in six games against the Blues. The Avs had won their five previous games and the Blues had lost their last three.

Tied 3-3 midway through the third period, the Blues’ Mike Hoffman scored the game-winning goal on a 5-on-3 power play. O’Reilly added an empty-netter in the waning moments to complete his hat trick.

The Avalanche, which had won the two previous games against the Blues in St. Louis, continued to play without wingers Mikko Rantanen and Joonas Donskoi and goalie Philipp Grubauer because of COVID protocol.

Avs center Nathan MacKinnon had his second-consecutive three-point game. He ripped a one-time slap shot past goalie Jordan Binnington at 8:10 of the second period for the only goal in the frame, tying it 3-3.

MacKinnon assisted on Colorado’s first two goals, at 1:37 and 3:01 of the first period as the Avs sprinted out to a 2-0 lead. The first goal came on a 5-on-3 power play, with defenseman Cale Makar ripping a wrist shot from the point. It extended MacKinnon’s points streak to 13 games.

Makar set up the second on an attempted wrap-around shot. The puck caromed above the crease where Gabe Landeskog slapped it in.

The Blues, however, got consecutive goals from Ryan O’Reilly at 9:49 and 12:40 — the former off the stick of Avs defenseman Devon Toews — and Ivan Barbashev struck at 17:48 as the hosts skated into the first intermission with a surprising 3-2 lead, given their early 2-0 hole.

This story will be updated. 

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