DENVER | Robert Bortuzzo took full responsibility for plowing into his own goaltender to set up an easy and momentum-swinging goal for Colorado. The St. Louis defenseman made up for it minutes later with the sealing goal. Jaden Schwartz and Vince Dunn added goals 52 seconds apart in the second period and the Blues overcame three crazy plays down the stretch to beat the Avalanche 4-3 on Thursday night.

DENVER | Matt Duchene is still here despite persistent trade rumors and Semyon Varlamov is healthy again. Those are two intriguing things to watch as the Colorado Avalanche head into the season with an erase-what-happened-last-year mentality. The Avs are coming off a dreary season in which they finished with 48 points — the lowest in a full season since 1999-2000.

College hockey’s top player is an NHL free agent after former University of Denver defenseman Will Butcher allowed a deadline to pass without signing with the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche selected Butcher in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and had until Tuesday to sign the Hobey Baker Award winner who led Denver to a national championship in April.