Young scored his third career sudden-death playoff goal 10:27 into double overtime to give the Blues a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche in Game Three of the Western Conference finals.
Faced with the prospect of falling behind three games to none against his former team, Young took a no-look pass from Pierre Turgeon at the top of the slot. Using defenseman Rob Blake as a screen, he leaned into a wrist shot that found just enough room under goaltender Patrick Roy's right arm.
"I knew that I had a little space as long as Pierre could get me the puck," Young said. "I knew Blake was standing there. I don't know if it deflected off him or what. I just wanted to get a quick shot off."
It was Young's sixth goal and third game-winner of this year's playoffs and gave the Blues momentum heading into Game Four on Friday night in St. Louis.
"Obviously, it's huge. We lose that game, it's an uphill struggle at 3-0," Young said. "But now we've got Game Four, 2-1, win another game and even it up."
Two years ago, Young's overtime goal in Game Five of the conference quarterfinals avoided elimination against Phoenix in a series the Blues captured in seven games.
Roy made 56 saves but fell to 35-14 in playoff overtime, including a 12-8 mark with Colorado.
"I think that his performances are speaking by themselves," Avalanche coach Bob Hartley said. "Patrick is strong. He's giving us a chance to win every game. And tonight, we almost took advantage of it again."
The Avalanche nearly won it early in the first overtime. Blues goalie Roman Turek, who played a shaky opening period, got a piece of Chris Drury's blast with his glove but made an unsuccessful lunge for the rebound. Colorado's Stephane Yelle got the puck and was looking at an open net, but Turek just tipped it with the bottom of his stick and the shot slid harmlessly off the left goalpost.
"There was only one thing I could think of doing and that was getting the stick there because I was out of the crease," Turek said. "I put my stick there and the puck hit it. I did not hear people go oooh and then I thought, 'OK they did not score.'" "Turek was down and I had an open net," Yelle said. "I didn't lift it high enough. It hit the stick and then I think it hit the post. Score the goal and the game's over."
Jamal Mayers forced overtime for St. Louis by scoring his first career postseason goal with 5:43 left in the third period, just 97 seconds after Eric Messier gave the Avalanche a 3-2 lead.
The line of Messier and fellow grinders Yelle and Shjon Podein was one of Colorado's most effective all night. With 7:20 to play in regulation, Blues forwards Dallas Drake and Keith Tkachuk double-teamed defenseman Ray Bourque in the offensive zone, enabling the Avalanche to counterattack with an odd-man rush.
Podein passed from the goal line to Messier, who quieted the Savvis Center crowd by beating Turek with a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle.
But Mayers brought the fans to their feet moments later when he tipped defenseman Chris Pronger's flubbed shot from the top of the left circle down and between Roy's pads. It was his first goal in 31 postseason contests.
"We talked about it all series long, getting to the net and trying to make it difficult for Roy," Mayers said. "I was just fortunate enough to tip it and just hope for the best. It was just a good play all-around by everyone."
St. Louis trailed, 2-1, after two periods but tied it 10:13 into the third on a goal by Scott Mellanby, who has been the Blues' most effective forward in the first three games. Mike Eastwood made a one-handed pass in the neutral zone and Mellanby did the rest, moving through the right circle, cutting to the net and putting a backhander past Roy for his third goal.
"To come back twice in the third period against that team, you don't do that very often," Blues coach Joel Quenneville said. "We got through it with a great overtime. I don't know how many pucks we had to throw at the net, but we finally got it on No. 60 tonight."
St. Louis grabbed its first lead of the series on rookie Alex Khavanov's power-play goal at 5:54 of the opening period. After failing to score on a 35-second two-man advantage, the Blues cashed in as Khavanov converted a rebound of Pavol Demitra's shot.
It was the first goal the Avalanche have allowed in the first period in the last seven games.
But Turek coughed up the lead on Colorado's first shot of the night. Just 36 seconds after Khavanov's goal, Turek was penalized for delay of game. Bourque fired a one-timer from the blue line between the goalie's pads 16 seconds into the ensuing power play to make it 1-1.
Less than two minutes later, Turek could not control Chris Dingman's dump-in and made an unsuccessful attempt to corral the puck with his stick. Dan Hinote swept past and flicked in a backhander for his first career postseason tally.
But Turek steadied himself and helped fend off a series of odd-man rushes in the second and third periods, when the Blues had a 31-12 advantage in shots. He stopped Joe Sakic twice on 2-on-1s late in the second and got a break when Hinote deflected a centering pass over the net on an another 2-on-1 early in the third.
"He's one of the biggest reasons why we're here right now. We knew he'd shake it off and come back with a better effort," Pronger said of Turek. "I think you saw that. He made some huge saves for us in the third period to keep it 3-2. And again in overtime, that one save in the first overtime when he got his stick on that empty net, that right there just shows there's no quit in him."