Spilko's Saturday NHL Playoffs Pick: Avalanche vs Blues – Jordan Binnington has starred in net for St. Louis
There have been a flurry of low-scoring contests in the second round of the NHL playoffs so far, excluding the Battle of Alberta’s 9-6 barn burner in Game 1 that ended in Calgary’s favor. Let’s take a look at another under that I believe might come to fruition on Saturday.
Game 3: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues (Series tied 1-1)
The St. Louis Blues shocked the rest of the NHL with a convincing 4-1 victory over the Stanley Cup favorite Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night. The series, split at one game apiece, will head to St. Louis for a pivotal set of upcoming games.
Colorado has been fairly stifled by St. Louis’ defense through two entertaining contests. The Avalanche fired 54 shots on net in Game 1, though their finishing left much to be desired. The second game of the series saw Colorado come away with only one goal, with that tally arriving around midway through the third period. The Blues showed wonderful resilience in Game 2 on the road, but they are averaging just 28.5 shots per game in the series thus far.
Game 1 resulted in five goals and Game 2 produced the same result goal-wise. The over-under for Game 3 remains at 6.5 total despite a drop in overall scoring between these two contenders. Seeing the trend now?
Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington has also been a revelation in the postseason dating back to Game 4 of the first-round series against the Minnesota Wild. Including that Game 4 win in the first round, Binnington has posted a save percentage of .933 or higher in five total playoff starts this year. Against Colorado through two games, St. Louis’ netminder has stopped 81 shots out of a possible 85 and recorded save percentages of .944 and .968 in Games 1 and 2, respectively.
Binnington has shown no signs of slowing down and the Blues will need him to continue his brilliance if they want a real shot to upset the Avalanche.
The line has yet to adjust to the outcomes of the first two games, so there’s still time to take advantage of this favorable line. Roll with the under and look for Binnington to halt Colorado’s offensive push once again to some degree.
The pick: Under 6.5 goals (-105)
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