ST. LOUIS (AP) Ryan Johansen and Devon Toews scored and the Central Division-leading Colorado Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 on Friday night.

Alexander Georgiev made 28 saves for Colorado, which won for the sixth time in nine games.

“I like the fact that we got better defensively as the game went on, and Georgiev played the best game I’ve seen him play in a while, especially the first period,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “As the game went on, I thought we really tightened it up on the defensive side of it, took care of the house pretty well, too. If they were going to get a scoring chance as the game went on, it was more to the outside.”

Robert Thomas scored and Jordan Binnington made 21 saves for St. Louis, which had its three-game winning streak halted. The Blues slipped to 5-2 under interim head coach Drew Bannister.

“I'll take that effort every night," Bannister said. "I thought we competed, we played well. Maybe 10 minutes of the second period I thought we got away from our game that we didn't play in the first, but I thought we certainly deserved a better result."

Bannister also said postgame that defenseman Justin Faulk will not accompany the team to its next game in Pittsburgh on Saturday after sustaining a lower-body injury with 18 seconds remaining in the game.

“We really hope (he's okay),” Binnington said. “He’s a warrior, as tough as they come. For him to leave the ice like that, it’s tough to see.”

Toews scored his fifth goal of the season on a shot from the point with 2:54 remaining to give Colorado a 2-1 lead.

“We kind of said going into it that we've got to win a 1-0, 2-1 game, whatever it may be.” Manson said. “We found a way to do it and stuck with it. The game maybe got away a little bit there in the third, got away from the gameplan but then we got back to it and stayed consistent and things like that will happen."

Cale Makar was awarded a penalty shot 7:56 into the third period after the officials ruled that Mackenzie MacEachern threw part of his broken stick at the puck. Binnington made a glove save on Makar to keep the game tied at 1.

“Reading and reacting,” Binnington said about his approach to stopping the penalty shot. “I think he could do kind of anything, so just focus on the puck and see what happens.”

Thomas tied the game when he skated in on a breakaway and backhanded his team-leading 14th goal of the season past Georgiev with 3:29 remaining in the first period.

It was St. Louis’ ninth short-handed goal of the season. The Blues failed to score on four power-play attempts. St. Louis has the NHL's worst power play, having converted 11 of 103 attempts this season.

Johansen backhanded the rebound from a shot by Jonathan Drouin shot from the point past Binnington for his 11th goal of the season and the 200th of his career, giving Colorado a 1-0 lead with 4:49 remaining in the first period.

Manson appeared to have scored for Colorado 6:01 into the first period, but St. Louis challenged the play for goaltender interference. Replay officials determined Kurtis MacDermid interfered with Binnington inside his crease.

Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon was held without a point snapping a 19-game points streak where he registered 13 goals and 23 assists.


Avalanche: Host San Jose on Sunday night.

Blues: At Pittsburgh on Saturday night



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