Blues’ Binnington bowled over, exits Game 3 loss

    Greg Wyshynski is ESPN’s senior NHL writer.

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington left Game 3 of their series against the Colorado Avalanche with an injury in the first period on Saturday night.

With the Blues leading, 1-0, Binnington was replaced by backup Ville Husso just 6:45 into the game in St. Louis. Husso returned to start the second period, and Colorado rallied to win, 5-2, taking a 2-1 series lead.

Avalanche forward Artturi Lehkonen took a shot that Binnington blocked with his glove. With the puck loose, Blues defenseman Calle Rosen and Colorado center Nazem Kadri both crashed the net. Both players ended up on top of Binnington.

The Blues netminder, a key cog in the franchise’s Stanley Cup championship in 2019, tried to work through the injury and stay in the game, making some movements in the crease while the team’s training staff looked on. But at one point he reached down to clutch his left leg, and Husso immediately grabbed his gear on the bench to get ready to enter the game.

Binnington stopped all three shots he faced. Husso stopped six of seven shots in the first period but surrendered the tying goal to forward Logan O’Connor for a 1-1 tie. Colorado led 3-2 at the end of the second period, and added two late goals in the third to secure the win.

Binnington had gone 4-1 in five games since replacing Husso for Game 4 of the Blues’ first-round series win against the Minnesota Wild. Binnington entered Saturday night’s game with the best save percentage (.948) of any goalie still competing in the postseason.

The Avalanche also lost a significant player in the first period, as defenseman Samuel Girard left with an upper body injury. He was taken to a local hospital after his head contacted the boards following a hit by Blues forward Ivan Barbashev.

Game 4 is scheduled for Monday.

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