Avalanche vs. Blues Game 4 Odds & Preview: Will St. Louis Even Up Series?
Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso.
- The St. Louis Blues are hosting the Colorado Avalanche in a pivotal Game 4.
- St. Louis goaltender Jordan Binnington got hurt in Game 3 so it will be up to Ville Husso to help the Blues even up the series.
- Carol Schram breaks down the matchup and shares her best bet below.
Avalanche vs. Blues Game 4 Odds
|Time||9:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A home-ice loss and an injury to goaltender Jordan Binnington has the St. Louis Blues in a tough spot as they prepare to host the Colorado Avalanche for Game 4 in the second-round of the NHL playoffs on Monday night.
After coming home from Colorado with a split in the first two games of the series, the Blues saw Binnington leave Game 3 after suffering a lower-body injury during the first-period. Unable to successfully regroup in front of Ville Husso, St. Louis is now in a 2-1 hole against the top team in the Western Conference, making Monday’s matchup a virtual must-win.
Here’s the latest on both teams heading into that pivotal game, as well as your best bet.
The Avalanche had a relatively easy time with their first-round sweep of the Nashville Predators — in part because Nashville’s starting goalie Juuse Saros was sidelined with an injury shortly before the playoffs began.
Against the Blues, the Avalanche been challenged more and lost for the first time this postseason when St. Louis snagged a 4-1 victory in Game 2 last Thursday.
Colorado had fallen behind 1-0 when Binnington was injured Saturday, but rallied for a decisive win and the series lead. The Avs are controlling 54.45% of the expected goals at 5-on-5 in the series and had a 62.28% share in three games against St. Louis during the regular season.
The Avalanche had a goalie injury scare of their own in Round 1 when Darcy Kuemper was forced out of action in Game 3 against Nashville with an eye problem. He missed Game 4, but has been stellar since his return to action in this series.
Kuemper had arguably his best game of the playoffs on Saturday, but for a 32-year-old veteran, he’s a bit short on playoff experience. His longest run came in the 2020 playoff bubble, when the ArizonaCoyotes knocked off the Predators in the preliminary round before falling in five games to the Avalanche.
Among the skaters, Cale Makar has used these playoffs to further enhance his well-deserved reputation as one of the best defensemen in the game. Another blueliner, Samuel Girard, left Game 3 after taking a hard hit on the end boards in the early going. Girard has since been ruled out for the rest of the playoffs due to a broken sternum. That means veterans Jack Johnson or Ryan Murray could draw in for their first action of the playoffs and Bowen Byram could see his role increase.
Up front, Logan O’Connor rewarded coach Jared Bednar’s faith in him when he picked up his first goal of the playoffs after drawing in for Nico Sturm in Game 4. Trade-deadline acquisition Artturi Lehkonen also scored twice on Saturday. Those were especially important contributions because the Blues have done a good job of keeping Colorado’s explosive top line in check at 5-on-5.
The Blues desperately need Husso to find the form that made him so successful in the regular season. He finished with a .919 save percentage and 13.5 goals saved above expected, ninth-best in the NHL.
Over the course of the year, he stole the starter’s job away from Binnington and was tapped to open the first round against the MinnesotaWild. However, in the first playoff action of his career, the 27-year-old Husso hasn’t looked sharp. He has an .891 save percentage, 3.38 goals-against average and -2.2 goals saved above expected — the lowest mark of any netminder whose team is still alive in the playoffs.
It’s not easy for any goalie to come off the bench following an injury to his crease partner. With proper preparation, Husso — and the entire Blues team — should be better on Monday, having taken the time to process Binnington’s injury.
In the first round, the Blues overcame a number of injuries on their blue line to beat the Wild. Torey Krug could miss his seventh straight game on Monday night due to his lower-body injury and Marco Scandella appeared to re-aggravate his lower-body issue in Game 4 against Minnesota.
While the Blues have been outplayed at 5-on-5 so far in this series, they’ve held a slight edge on special teams. Discipline has been the order of the day since strong power plays mean both St. Louis and Colorado can make opponents pay for mistakes.
Through three games, the Blues are 2-for-5 with the man advantage. The Avs are 1-for-6.
Avalanche vs. Blues Pick
On Saturday, Colorado was able to capitalize after Binnington’s injury as it changed the momentum in the game and the Avalanche came away with a fairly easy win. However, St. Louis has now had two days to regroup and get behind Husso.
Even with some holes on their blue line, look for the Blues to play a well-structured game that limits chances for the opponent at 5-on-5, then try to seize opportunities on the power play.
In Round 1, St. Louis fell into a 2-1 hole against Minnesota before rallying with three-straight wins to advance. The Avalanche are a better team than the Wild, but look for the Blues to even the series on home ice before the scene shifts back to Denver.
Pick: Blues moneyline (+135); play down to +100
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