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Blues 4, Avalanche 1

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Right winger David Backes scored a goal and an assist, goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 25 shots and the St. Louis Blues beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-1 on Wednesday for their fifth straight win.

Centers Alexander Steen and Jaden Schwartz also scored and Derek Roy had two assists for the Blues.

Left winger Patrick Bordeleau scored for Colorado, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.

It is the second time the Blues have stopped Colorado's momentum.

The Avalanche were playing well when they went into St. Louis two weeks ago and were routed for the first time this season. The Blues dominated in the 7-3 win Nov. 14, and Wednesday gave Colorado a chance at redemption.

Instead, the Blues showed the first game was no fluke.

Backes got it started when he redirected right winger T.J. Oshie's shot past goalie Semyon Varlamov just 2:46 into the game.

Steen made it 2-0 when he scored on a power play at 6:10 of the first. It was his 20th goal of the season, which tied him with Washington left winger Alex Ovechkin for the tops in the NHL.

The Avalanche, who were outshot 9-1 at that point, started pressing more and broke through on Bordeleau's goal just over two minutes after Steen scored.

Colorado had a few more chances to tie it, the best coming on a power play late in the first, but Schwartz scored a short-handed goal with 1:48 left in the period to make it 3-1.

Colorado didn't generate much offense in the last two periods, and its best offensive push came on a power play in the final five minutes.

The Avalanche pulled Varlamov for an extra skater with over two minutes remaining, and right winger Chris Stewart, a former Avalanche forward, scored an empty-net goal with 1:44 left.

Varlamov finished with 31 saves.

NOTES: The Blues' short-handed goal was their first of the season and the first allowed by Colorado this year. ... Avalanche C Matt Duchene returned to the lineup after missing three games with an oblique strain. ... St. Louis RW David Backes now has five goals and five assists in his last eight games against Colorado. Center T.J. Oshie has nine assists in his last five games against the Avalanche. ... Avalanche C Paul Stastny was a late scratch due to back spasms. ... C Alexander Steen is now four goals shy of tying his career-high of 24 set during the 2009-10 season. ... The Avalanche entered Wednesday allowing a league-low nine goals in the first period. They gave up two in the first 6:10 to the Blues.
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