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McGinn scores twice and Avs beat Blues, 5-3

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 21, 2013 at 10:55 pm •  Published: April 21, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — The Avalanche are embracing their role as spoilers.

Well back and way out of the playoff race, Colorado is making things difficult for teams in or contending for a playoff spot.

Because if they don't play inspired hockey, they run the risk of incurring the wrath of veteran goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere again.

Jamie McGinn scored twice, Giguere stopped 29 shots and the Avalanche prevented the St. Louis Blues from wrapping up a playoff spot with a 5-3 win on Sunday night.

Colorado is 3-0-2 against teams jockeying for postseason position since Giguere recently boiled over and bristled about his team's lackluster play. They definitely received his message.

"All it means is we can play against anyone in this league if we put our minds to it," Giguere said. "If we skate, play the system the way it's supposed to be and we're on the same page, then we can compete against any team in this league. That's something we should be excited about, something we should build on."

Cody McLeod, Matt Duchene and Chuck Kobasew also scored for the Avalanche, who chased Brian Elliott from the game late in the second period. It was Colorado's eighth straight win over the Blues at Pepsi Center.

David Backes, Jaden Schwartz and Kevin Shattenkirk had goals for St. Louis, which could have secured a postseason berth with a win over a Colorado team that's last in the Western Conference.

After Elliott, one of the top goaltenders this month, gave up a fourth goal, the Blues pulled him in favor of Jake Allen. He allowed Kobasew's third-period goal that gave Colorado a 5-3 advantage.

Giguere made the lead hold up down the stretch.

Elliott resembled the Elliott of three months ago, the goaltender scuffling in net, and not the one with an 8-1 mark in April along with a 1.01 goals-allowed average entering the game. He had three straight road shutouts before McGinn broke the scoreless streak midway through the opening period.

"We just didn't play as good as a team," Elliott said. "That's not how we want to play. Obviously, it's frustrating not getting the win and clinching a playoff spot like we had a chance to do tonight. That's what's frustrating."

The Blues play the Avs again in two days.

"You can't dwell on this too much, you have to take (the loss) for what it is and learn from it," Elliott said. "This is not the time of year to have a team effort like that. From the goalie out, we have to be better."

St. Louis was uncharacteristically careless with the puck, committing several turnovers that led to goals. The Mile High City hasn't been particularly kind to the Blues, who've not won in Denver since April 12, 2009. Coach Ken Hitchcock said part of the reason is that his team tries to play a fast-paced tempo with the Avs, instead of their own game.

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