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Nazem Kadri's hat trick powers Avalanche past Blues in Game 4

Colorado blew past St. Louis 6-3 in Game 4 on Monday night to extend its series lead.

ST. LOUIS — This was Nazem Kadri's response to the uproar.

The Colorado Avalanche forward was the target of disdain from St. Louis players and fans after a collision in Game 3 that left Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington injured for the rest of their second-round playoff series.

But the boos raining down in Enterprise Center were quickly silenced Monday night as Kadri rose to the occasion -- recording a hat trick to power Colorado to a 6-3 victory in a pivotal Game 4.

Kadri scored three goals and contributed an assist to finish the game with four points.

"I wanted to come out and really put a mark on this game, " Kadri said. "Obviously a great follow-up game. I guess I needed some fuel and I was pretty upset for the last couple days."

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Credit: AP
Colorado Avalanche's Nazem Kadri (91) brings the puck down the ice as St. Louis Blues' Brayden Schenn (10) defends during the first period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series Monday, May 23, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Game 4 started the same way every game in this series has -- with St. Louis scoring the first goal. But the Blues' one-goal lead was erased shortly after the first intermission.

Colorado defenseman Erik Johnson broke through less than 3 minutes into the second period, opening the floodgates.

"You don't get many kicks at winning the Stanley Cup," said Johnson, who is 34 years old. "I'm getting a little older...I've just tried to take it to a new level and do anything I can to help this team do that."

Kadri and Devon Toews followed shortly after, and the Avalanche poured in four goals in less than 5 minutes.

St. Louis clawed back with a pair of power-play goals, including David Perron's second of the night, to close the deficit to 4-3 by second intermission.

Kadri netted his third goal for the hat trick midway into the third period and an empty-net goal from Mikko Rantanen — which snapped his playoff drought -- sealed the victory.

"Coming into tonight's game, it was 'Stay focused. We're here to win a hockey game,' and I felt our guys were ready," said head coach Jared Bednar. "Obviously a tremendous game from (Kadri). Tremendous focus and discipline. I'm proud of him."

Colorado has a chance to close out the series on Wednesday, May 25, when the series shifts back to Denver for Game 5. Puck drop is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT at Ball Arena in Denver.

Credit: AP
Colorado Avalanche's Nazem Kadri celebrates after scoring during the third period in Game 4 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup second-round playoff series against the St. Louis Blues Monday, May 23, 2022, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

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