DENVER (AP) - The streaking St. Louis Blues were no match for the surging Colorado Avalanche.
Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped a season-high 37 shots and Jay McClement scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period to lift the Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the Blues on Wednesday night for their seventh straight home win.
Paul Stastny and Cody McLeod also scored for the Avalanche and Matt Hunwick, Kevin Porter and Shane O'Brien each had an assist each. Colorado has won seven consecutive at home for the first time since 2003.
``I think we lost seven in a row to start the season so it evens out,' Stastny said. ``Now's a good time to do it.'
The Avalanche began the season 3-8 at home but have rallied to win eight of their last 10 in Denver.
``We're starting to build something here at home,' Colorado coach Joe Sacco said.
Brian Elliott made 19 saves and David Backes and Chris Stewart scored for the Blues, who lost in regulation for just the second time the last 13 games.
The score was tied late in the second period when a pile-up in front of the St. Louis net produced the winning goal. McClement's backhand was blocked by defenseman Alex Pietrangelo but the puck went over the line as Pietrangelo and forward Matt D'Agostini slid into Elliott and knocked the net off its moorings with 5:53 left in the period.
``They slid right into me,' Elliott said. ``It was lucky - just laying there for them.'
There was no goal indication on the ice but after a review McClement was credited with his sixth of the year.
``Definitely not the prettiest. I had a great chance on a 3-on-1 that I don't bury and then that one goes in,' McClement said. ``It took long enough so it must have been close.'
Elliott went off for an extra attacker with 1:06 left but St. Louis couldn't tie it again.
The Blues trailed 2-0 after the first period but got even in the second. Backes got St. Louis on the board when he beat Giguere with a shot from the right circle 3:01 into the period. It was his 11th goal of the season.
``The first goal is one of those you'd like to see back,' Giguere said. ``Sometimes you'll get beat with a shot.'
Stewart tied it midway through the period when he knocked in Patrik Berglund's rebound for his fifth goal.
Backes nearly gave the Blues the lead when he had a breakaway a minute later but Giguere made the save.
Stastny put Colorado ahead 1-0 when he deflected Hunwick's shot from the point past Elliott 3:52 into the game. It was his 11th goal of the season.
McLeod made it 2-0 when he hustled for his second goal of the season. Porter dumped the puck in on Elliott, who softly tried to clear the rebound to defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. McLeod intercepted the pass and beat Elliott with a backhand at the 5:13 mark.
``Our attitude was not right to start the game,' St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock said. ``When you start as poorly as we do, that's not winning hockey. We got to figure it out.'
The Blues had opportunities to get on the board with three power-play chances in the first. They hit the post and failed to get a shot on goal with 14 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage.
``We just need to be better early and the power play needs to be something that gives us a spark,' Backes said. ``A post here and there and shots are all rah rah, but at the end of the day its what's on the scoreboard and we didn't get the job done.'
NOTES: Colorado's franchise record for consecutive home wins in a season is 10, done twice when the team was the Quebec Nordiques. ... Giguere won his 238th career game, tying him with Jocelyn Thibault for 48th on the NHL all-time wins list. ... The Blues failed to get at least one point for just the third time in their last 19 games.
The Associated Press News Service
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