ST. LOUIS — Local villain but Colorado hero Nazem Kadri scored a goal on Monday night in Game 4 — the second of four consecutive for the Avalanche and the first of three for him — and the St. Louis Blues couldn’t stand it.
The hosts were being dominated by Colorado at The Enterprise Center and Kadri’s first of two goals in a stretch of 3:30 caused two St. Louis players to lose their composure during the second period.
Pavel Buchnevich and David Perron attacked Kadri, piling on top of him, leading to a 5-on-3 Blues disadvantage and ultimately their demise in the Avs’ 6-3 victory that gave them a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.
Kadri, who received racial online threats the previous 48 hours and had the local police and NHL investigating, had three goals and four points to power the Avs to the brink of the conference finals for the first time since 2002. He scored on 100% of his shots (three).
“I’m just proud of him. I thought he was amazing tonight, especially with what’s gone on in the last 48 hours,” Avs coach Jared Bednar said of Kadri, who completed his hat trick midway through the third period to end St. Louis’ two-goal rally to get within 4-3.
Mikko Rantanen added an empty-net goal in the final seconds as the Avs improved to 7-1 in the playoffs, including 4-0 on the road.