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Avs Head To Western Conference Finals For The First Time In 20 Years

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Darren Helm scored with 5.6 seconds left, and Darcy Kuemper stopped 17 shots as the Colorado Avalanche finished off their second-round series with a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in Game 6 on Friday night. J.T. Compher scored twice for Colorado, which advanced to the Western Conference finals for first time since 2002. The Avalanche had been eliminated in the second round each of the past three years.

Colorado opens the series against Edmonton on Tuesday night in Denver.

Jordan Kyrou and Justin Faulk scored for St. Louis. and Ville Husso made 36 saves.

Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues Game Six NHL Playoffs
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 27: Colorado Avalanche goaltender Darcy Kuemper (35), left, greets St. Louis Blues goaltender Ville Husso (35) and shakes hands after defeating the Blues 3-2 to win the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs at The Enterprise Center Center May 27, 2022. The Avalanche move on to the Western Conference Finals agains the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

On the winning goal, Helm scored off a drive from the faceoff circle.

Compher, who had been held scoreless over the Avalanche's first nine games of the playoffs, broke free at the perfect time.

He pounced on the rebound of a shot from Josh Manson to tie the score 1-1 early in the second period. Compher then tied it 2-2 on a wrist shot from the faceoff dot with 9:41 left in the third.

Husso, who have up 13 goals on 93 shots over the previous three games, rebounded with a much stronger effort.

Colorado dominated play for long stretches, but could not solve Husso, who regained his job after Jordan Binnington went down with a lower body injury in Game 3. Husso robbed Nazem Kadri from close range early in the third period.

Husso had a 37-save shutout in a Game 1 win over Minnesota in the first round.

Colorado Avalanche vs St. Louis Blues Game Six NHL Playoffs
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 27: From left to right, Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson (6), Colorado Avalanche center Darren Helm (43, Colorado Avalanche right wing Logan O'Connor (25) and Colorado Avalanche left wing Gabriel Landeskog (92) celebrate Helm"u2019s game winning goal against the St. Louis Blues in the third period during game six of the second round of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs at The Enterprise Center Center May 27, 2022. The Avalanche won 3-2 to move on to the Western Conference Finals against the Edmonton Oilers. (Photo by Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Faulk scored late in the first period on a wrist shot from between the circles. He sailed into the slot before taking a pass from Robert Thomas. The drive grazed off the arm of Kuemper. It was Faulk's first goal of the postseason after handing out seven assists.

Kyrou also missed the net on a breakaway in the second period and had shot from close range stopped by Manson in the defensive play of the game after Kuemper was out of position.

Kyrou then converted on a 2-on-1 off a pass from Brayden Schenn to put the Blues up 2-1 at 9:34 of the second period.

The Blues forced a Game 5 by beating Colorado 5-4 in overtime on Wednesday on a goal by Tyler Bozak.

THE GREAT ONE

Wayne Gretzky attended the contest. Gretzky, who played 18 games for the Blues in the 1995-96 season, has a house in St. Louis. He drew a huge ovation from the crowd.

By STEVE OVERBEY

(© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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