Blues beat down Avs, Roy seethes

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- The St. Louis Blues were smiling while Colorado coach Patrick Roy was seething after his Avalanche were handily beat once again.
Right winger David Backes scored a goal and an assist, goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 25 shots and the Blues beat Colorado 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.
It was the first time in nine games St. Louis won in Denver. The last Blues' win at Pepsi Center was April 12, 2009, when right wing Chris Stewart was on the team.
Wednesday, he had the final goal in a decisive win.
"I can't tell you the last time we won in this barn so obviously, coming here it's big getting two points," he said. "I think I was on the receiving end last time this team won in this barn so it's a big two points."
Left winger Patrick Bordeleau scored for Colorado, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
This loss had Roy, a rookie coach hired from the Quebec Major Junior League last summer, a little perturbed by what he thought was a double standard. He was criticized for talking to opposing players early this season, and he took issue with Blues coach Ken Hitchcock for doing the same thing Wednesday.
"I was very mad in the end because I've been jabbed by different coaches around the league, especially Hitchcock, when he said that's junior, stop talking to players and talking to the referee," Roy said. "I saw a guy on the other side who was talking to players and he was also talking to the referee and got the referee pissed off. It seems to me there are different rules for everybody in this league. I guess the old guys are allowed to do whatever they want. And I guess us, because we are younger, we cannot say anything. And I'm a little pissed off about that."
Asked if he said anything to Hitchcock after the game, Roy replied, "I can't say it here, I'm sorry."
Wednesday was 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.
"I just came down the backside," Steen said. "The last time we played them we had a couple of shots from the slot. They were sitting a little bit on it, but that opened up a backdoor pass."
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.
"We lost the game in the first 10 minutes," center Matt Duchene said. "If we played a little better in the first 10 there, even giving up that shorty late in the first period there we go into the next period with a 2-1 deficit, it's a different game."
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.
"That's our game. We don't give up much," Hitchcock said.
The Avalanche pulled Varlamov for an extra skater with over two minutes remaining, and 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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