DENVER (CBS4) — Gabriel Landeskog recorded a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a goal, assist and a fighting major as the Avalanche beat the St. Louis Blues 4-1 on Monday night in Game 1 of their first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series. The left wing earned the fighting major midway through the first period by sticking up for a teammate following a big hit.
The catalyst was an open-ice collision by Brayden Schenn of the Blues on Landeskog’s linemate Mikko Rantanen that drew the Avs captain’s wrath. The gloves were dropped and all-out brawl between Schenn and Landeskog followed.
“I don’t think it was a dirty play,” Landeskog said. “Just have to stand up for my teammates.”
It breathed some energy into the Avalanche.
“We were kind of tiptoeing our way into it a little bit,” Landeskog said. “I thought that was going to calm us down a little bit and get the crowd into it.”
It felt and sounded like a full house inside Ball Arena, with the facility recently being approved to increase capacity to 42.3% by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. (The attendance was listed at 7,741.) That fighting spirit energized a roaring crowd — and certainly rubbed off on the team.
Landeskog added a third-period goal by tipping in a blue-line blast from Nathan MacKinnon and recording assists on both of MacKinnon’s goals in the game.
The rest of the Avalanche’s first round series continues as follows:
No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues
Game 2: Wednesday, May 19, 10:30 p.m. | at COL | TV: CNBC
Game 3: Friday, May 21, 9:30 p.m. | at STL | TV: USA
Game 4: Sunday, May 23 | at STL | TBD
Game 5*: Tuesday, May 25 | at COL | TBD
Game 6*: Thursday, May 27 | at STL | TBD
Game 7*: Saturday, May 29 | at COL | TBD
And here’s a look at the complete playoff breakdown, courtesy of CBS Sports:
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)