Avalanche vs. St. Louis Blues Game 4: Three keys for victory for Colorado

ST. LOUIS — The Avalanche is 3-0 on the road in the playoffs and takes a 2-1 series lead into The Enterprise Center for Game 4 of its best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal set against the St. Louis Blues.

Three keys for Colorado:

Replace Girard. Avs defenseman Sam Girard sustained a broken sternum on his first shift in Game 3 and will miss the rest of the postseason. Girard is an excellent puck-moving defenseman and a key component on the second power-play unit. But Colorado has rookie Bo Byram and great depth at the position. Byram is expected to step in on the second pairing with Josh Manson and the Avs will add Jack Johnson to play on the third pair with Erik Johnson. Jack Johnson has been a healthy scratch in all seven playoff games but saw action in 74 of 82 regular-season games, mostly playing with Erik Johnson. The duo is a proven commodity, and Byram, 20, appears to have overcome concussion-related issues that limited him to 30 games in the regular season. The Avs are so deep on defense, they could also bring in Kurtis MacDermid (58 regular-season games) or Ryan Murray (37).

Kadri component. Nazem Kadri was the No. 1 star in Game 3 for Avalanche fans, but the dirty devil in the Blues’ eyes. St. Louis coach Craig Berube and two players insinuated Kadri had intent-to-injury Blues goalie Jordan Binnington early in Game 3. But it…

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