Nazem Kadri scored a buzzer-beating power-play goal to give the Colorado Avalanche a 2-1 comeback victory over the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in Western Conference round-robin play Sunday night in Edmonton, Alberta.
Kadri's shot crossed the goal line with 0.1 seconds on the clock. The NHL reviewed the play for several minutes before calling it a good goal.
"I knew there wasn't much time left," Kadri said. "I didn't hear a buzzer. I tried to stay on top of the puck, and luckily it worked out."
By winning the game held at an empty Rogers Place, Colorado took an early lead in the seeding race among the top four teams in the West. The Avalanche, Blues, Vegas Golden Knights and Dallas Stars have byes into the traditional first round of the NHL playoffs and will each face the winner of a best-of-five qualifying round series.
The frenzied finish made up for an uneven first 55 minutes or so. In the final two, St. Louis captain Alex Pietrangelo went off slowly after taking a shot off the side of his right knee, teammate Alex Steen took a penalty and the Avalanche put goaltender Jordan Binnington and the Blues' penalty kill under siege.
It finished with Kadri's goal that ruined a 36-save performance from Binnington, who was as sharp as he was during the 2019 playoffs.
Arizona 4, Nashville 3: Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored the first of Arizona's three first-period goals, a healthy Phil Kessel had two assists and the Coyotes held on to beat the Predators to open their Stanley Cup qualifier series.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 40 shots and the Coyotes made the most of their first postseason appearance since 2012, scoring three goals in the opening period on their way to building a 4-1 lead.
"It's a big, big start when you get a goal like that. It gives us some momentum," said Arizona's Michael Grabner, who scored a breakaway goal in the second period. "We'll take any bounces we can get, especially early on in the game and the series."
Columbus 2, Toronto 0: Joonas Korpisalo stopped 28 shots in his first playoff start, Cam Atkinson scored early in the third period and the Blue Jackets won the opener of their best-of-five qualifying round series over the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
"I'm pretty confident from the get-go today, and I think the boys played really good in front of me, battling for me to see the puck," said Korpisalo, who learned on Saturday that he was getting the start.
Philadelphia 4, Boston 1: Carter Hart stopped 34 shots, and the Flyers opened the playoffs seeding round in Toronto with a victory over Presidents' Trophy-winning Bruins.