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NHL - US Sports: Blues respond to Berube challenge

Forward David Perron credited coach Craig Berube for the St. Louis Blues' improved performance to even their Western Conference second-round series against the Colorado Avalanche at one game each.

The Blues, 16/1 to win the Stanley Cup in 2021/22 and 27/10 to prevail past the Avalanche, responded to a 3-2 overtime defeat in the opening game of the series to win game two 4-1 on Thursday.

Improvement all round

After allowing 54 shots in Game 1, Berube was clear in his message that his team had to step up their game in all areas if they were to have any chance of progressing past the Avs, who had the best record in the Western Division (56-19-7).

St. Louis allowed an improved 31 shots in Game 2 and significantly increased their face-off win rate, going from 36% to 61%.

The 33-year-old Perron scored two goals in the win, taking his post-season tally to seven which leads the Blues, while the winger also has four assists for a total of 11 points.

Berube, 56, was promoted from assistant to head coach of the Blues in November 2018, and remarkably took them from the bottom of the NHL standings to the Stanley Cup.

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Perron is in a third spell with the Blues, who originally drafted him in the first round of the 2007 NHL draft. He re-joined at the same time as Berube, ahead of the 2018/19 Championship season.

Game 3 of the series is in St. Louis on Saturday.

Berube praise

Perron said to the media: "[Berube]'s awesome. The next day, we come in and we watch video, we saw a lot of the things that we didn't do well, and he was pretty vocal about it.

"He did a great job of bringing it to us and saying what he had to say, and we responded. It was great."

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