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DENVER, COLORADO - JANUARY 15: Ryan O’Reilly #90 of the St Louis Blues skates against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena on January 15, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 8-0. (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
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O’Reilly all but guarantees Blues win over Avs in Round 1

We’re three days way from puck drop on Game 1 between the Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues, but things are already getting chippy between the postseason opponents.

Before even the start of the third period of Thursday night’s division-clinching win by the Avs, Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly said he knows they can “beat this team” in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, all but guaranteeing it in a postgame press conference.

“We know that they have a lot of talent over there, and they work hard. But for us, it’s an exciting challenge,” O’Reilly said. “We’re going to have some fun, and we’re going to beat them.”

Colorado’s 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings clinched not only the West Division crown but also the Presidents’ Trophy for the most regular season wins in the NHL — including a 5-3 season series record against St. Louis.

The victory also gives the Avs home-ice advantage throughout their run through the postseason, which starts with the Blues at Ball Arena on Monday night.