Blues' Jordan Binnington knocked out of Game 3 after Nazem Kadri collision

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Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri went hard to the net after a loose puck before colliding with a Blues defenceman and barrelling into Binnington, who left the game.  (Photo via USA TODAY Sports)
Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri went hard to the net after a loose puck before colliding with a Blues defenceman and barrelling into Binnington, who left the game. (Photo via USA TODAY Sports)

The Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues came out with a bang to start Game 3 of their second-round series on Saturday night, however, two key players got hurt in the process.

First, Avalanche defenseman Samuel Girard was forced to leave the contest after he got slammed into the boards by Blues forward Ivan Barbashev. According to the team, Girard was taken to hospital for further evaluation.

Avalanche coach Jared Bednar confirmed after the game the unfortunate news that Girard will miss the remainder of the playoffs with a broken sternum.

Moments after Girard was hit, it was Blues goalie Jordan Binnington who got banged up and was forced to leave the game after Avalanche forward Nazem Kadri went hard to the net and collided with a Blues defenceman before both combatants barrelled into the St. Louis netminder.

Visibly trying to shake off a lower body injury, Binnington exited the game after the collision with Kadri, who has been in the middle of his fair share of controversial playoff incidents over the years — including most recently serving an eight-game suspension after knocking out blueliner Justin Faulk in last year's first-round series against these very same Blues.

He was also banned as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs in back-to-back first-round series against the Boston Bruins, first in 2018 for boarding Tommy Wingels (three games), and then a year later a dangerous crosscheck to the head of Jake DeBrusk saw him sidelined for the remainder of the 2019 series.

Kadri may not to be blame for this sequence, however. There is a case to be made that blueliner Calle Rosen initiated the contact, but it's hard to really tell and, based on Kadri's checkered past, also impossible to judge intent or to rule anything out. For what it's worth, Kadri was not penalized on the play.

When asked about the incident during the second intermission, Kadri said it was just incidental contact as he was going for a loose puck, while adding "I hope (Binnington is) okay, and I hope he comes back."

This isn't the first time these two have gotten mixed up. Earlier in the regular season, Binnington and Kadri were involved in an on-ice altercation when the goalie swung his stick at the Avs forward during a scrum. On that play, Binnington received a rare 10-minute misconduct, along with Kadri.

As fate would have it, Kadri added insult to literal injury in the second frame, potting the go-ahead tally to put the Avs up by one and also assisting on Artturi Lehkonen's eventual game-winner just moments later.

Blues beat reporter Jeremy Rutherford provided an update on Binnington's health hours after the game, and it doesn't sound promising.

Ville Husso finished Game 3 between the pipes for St. Louis as the Avalanche added a couple late ones to win 5-2 and grab a 2-1 series lead.

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