Helm scores late, Avalanche beat Blues to win series
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Darren Helm scored with 5.6 seconds left and Darcy Kuemper stopped 17 shots as the Colorado Avalanche finished off their second-round series with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 on Friday night.
J.T. Compher scored twice for Colorado, which advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2002. The Avalanche had been eliminated in the second round each of the past three years.
Colorado opens the series against Edmonton on Tuesday night in Denver.
Jordan Kyrou and Justin Faulk scored for St. Louis. and Ville Husso made 36 saves.
On the winning goal, Helm scored off a drive from the faceoff circle.
Compher, who had been held scoreless over the Avalanche’s first nine games of the playoffs, broke free at the perfect time.
He pounced on the rebound of a shot from Josh Manson to tie the score 1-1 early in the second period. Compher then tied it 2-2 on a wrist shot from the faceoff dot with 9:41 left in the third.
Husso, who have up 13 goals on 93 shots over the previous three games, rebounded with a much stronger effort.
Colorado dominated play for long stretches, but could not solve Husso, who regained his job after Jordan Binnington went down with a lower-body injury in Game 3. Husso robbed Nazem Kadri from close range early in the third period.
Husso had a 37-save shutout in a Game 1 win over Minnesota in the first round.
Faulk scored late in the first period on a wrist shot from between the circles. He sailed into the slot before taking a pass from Robert Thomas. The drive grazed off the arm of Kuemper. It was Faulk’s first goal of the postseason after handing out seven assists.
Kyrou also missed the net on a breakaway in the second period and had shot from close range stopped by Manson in the defensive play of the game after Kuemper was out of position.
Kyrou then converted on a 2-on-1 off a pass from Brayden Schenn to put the Blues up 2-1 at 9:34 of the second period.
The Blues forced a Game 5 by beating Colorado 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday on a goal by Tyler Bozak.
THE GREAT ONE
Wayne Gretzky attended the contest. Gretzky, who played 18 games for the Blues in the 1995-96 season, has a house in St. Louis. He drew a huge ovation from the crowd.
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