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Mar 19, 2024 10:54 pm

Mikko Rantanen racks up hat trick as Avalanche sink Blues

Avalanche Blues

Mikko Rantanen scored a hat trick to lead the visiting Colorado Avalanche past the St. Louis Blues 4-3 on Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to seven games.

Casey Mittelstadt also scored for the Avalanche (44-20-5, 93 points), and Jonathan Drouin and Valeri Nichushkin earned two assists apiece.

Justus Annunen made 30 saves to earn the victory.

Nathan Walker had a goal and an assist for the Blues (36-30-3, 75 points), whose four-game winning streak ended.

Alexey Toropchenko and Brayden Schenn also scored for St. Louis, Justin Faulk had two assists and Jordan Binnington made 31 saves.

Rantanen scored 6:36 into the game to put Colorado up 1-0. Nathan MacKinnon extended his point streak to 16 games by rushing the puck up the left wing and setting up Rantanen, who was breaking into the slot.

The Blues tied the game less than 2 1/2 minutes later. Scott Perunovich circled behind the net and located Walker coming off the bench. Walker stepped through the left circle unchecked and snapped a shot past Annunen.

St. Louis moved ahead 2-1 4:44 into the second period when Faulk fired a shot from the right point into traffic, and Toropchenko pushed the puck through Annunen while driving the net.

Mittelstadt tied the game less than two minutes later by winning a faceoff, then going to the net to convert a pass from Samuel Girard.

The Blues answered with 8:43 gone in the second when Schenn scored from the left wing off a 2-on-1 break with Jake Neighbours.

But Colorado tied the game 3-3 with a power-play goal. Rantanen parked in the slot and redirected Drouin’s pass into the net.

Rantanen struck again at the 4:15 mark of the third period to put the Avalanche ahead. Nichushkin stole the puck in the Blues’ zone and set up Rantanen in the slot. It was the seventh hat trick of his career and his first of the season.

The Blues pulled Binnington for an extra attacker and put Annunen under duress with a final-minute flurry, but they failed to tie the game.

–Field Level Media

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