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Blues secure playoff spot with win over Avs

Chris Stewart and Andy McDonald both recorded a goal and an assist to lead St. Louis to a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche that wrapped up a playoff spot for the Blues.

Patrik Berglund added a power-play marker for St. Louis, while Brian Elliott bounced back from a shaky performance in Sunday's 5-3 loss to the Avalanche in Denver to help the Blues move to 10-3-0 in April.

Elliott was pulled late in the second period of the opener of this home-and- home set after letting up four goals on 19 shots, but turned aside 17-of-18 chances in the rematch.

"It wasn't picture perfect, we've had our ups and downs but we're here now and that's all that matters," said Stewart about making the playoffs. "Now we have to wait to see who we play but we have a few more games here to tune up and that's what we're going to do."

Cody McLeod accounted for Colorado's lone score in the Avs' 16th setback in their past 17 road outings.

"They made a hard push and they were a hungry team tonight," said Colorado head coach Joe Sacco. "They won the battles and skated harder than us, that's why they won."

The Blues controlled the action from start to finish and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission by converting their initial power-play opportunity of the night.

With Colorado's Jamie McGinn in the box, the Blues' Jordan Leopold sent a scorching slap shot from near the blue line that deflected off Stewart's stick and past Varlamov 8:41 after the opening whistle.

The Blues struck again on a power-play chance early in the second period to increase the margin, with Berglund re-directing Jay Bouwmeester's blast from the right point while camped out in front of the Colorado net 2:55 into the middle session.

McDonald made it a 3-0 game just 2:16 later, taking in a feed from Vladimir Sobotka while skating into the left slot and beating Varlamov through the 5- hole with a backhander.

"We played well in their offensive zone tonight," Stewart said.

The Avalanche finally got on the board with just under five minutes left in the period, with a Colorado counterattack ending with McLeod's well-placed wrister that soared over Elliott's glove and landed in the upper-right corner of the net.

Colorado rarely threatened in the final 20 minutes, with Elliott protecting the two-goal advantage by making seven third-period stops.

Game Notes

Stewart's goal was the 100th of his career ... St. Louis finished 2-for-5 on the power play and have scored at least once with the man advantage in seven straight home games against Colorado, having gone 9-for-24 in such situations over the last five such matchups ... The Avs had killed off 22-of-23 penalties over their previous seven contests ... Colorado fell to a league-worst 3-16-4 on the road for the season.