Anaheim at St. Louis

Blues double up Ducks on night giving tribute to Tkachuk

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Keith Tkachuk was grinning ear to ear throughout the postgame tribute to his long, bruising career. Especially after playmaking fueled a big rally.

The 38-year-old Tkachuk set up the tying goal and assisted on an insurance goal in his home finale with the St. Louis Blues, adding meaning to the pomp after a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"It was a special moment as soon as I got on the ice in warmups and it carried on all game," Tkachuk said. "The way it ended, you couldn't have scripted it better. It was incredible."

Jay McClement scored the go-ahead goal with 3:50 to go and Andy McDonald scored 23 seconds later off Tkachuk's shot from a tough angle for the Blues, who rallied from a 3-2 deficit after two periods to finish with a six-game winning streak at home. They wound up 18-18-5 at home, still among the worst in the NHL and the biggest reason they couldn't repeat last season's playoff drive.

Rookie Matt Beleskey scored twice for the first time and Bobby Ryan got his 35th goal and added an assist for the Ducks, who had gone to a shootout the previous four games. Anaheim also is out of the playoff race and participated in its second "farewell" game in two nights, serving as the foil Thursday for what could be Mike Modano's final home game with the Dallas Stars.

"It's a pretty neat experience for me, being able to play in those games after watching those guys my whole life," Beleskey said.

Tkachuk has been with the Blues since a trade from Phoenix in 2000-01 aside from a brief stint during the Thrashers' playoff drive in 2006-07 and received a prolonged standing ovation after he was introduced on the starting line along with Paul Kariya and Brad Boyes. A prototype power forward in his prime, he's one of only four players to accumulate 1,000 points and 2,000 penalty minutes.

"I was there for his first game and I guess I'm here for his last game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, a former teammate of Tkachuk's with the Winnipeg Jets. "Keith's been a competitor a long, long time."

Surrounded by his three children, wife and parents, Tkachuk was honored in a postgame ceremony and told fans "Thank you very much, you'll be seeing me in St. Louis the rest of my life."

Tkachuk fed the puck across the slot to Carlo Colaiacovo for a power play goal that tied it at 3 early in the third. He has 427 points in 541 games with St. Louis, along with 676 penalty minutes, and is expected to play in the season finale Saturday at Nashville.

"If he keeps making plays like that, it might entice him to play another year," teammate David Backes said. "Obviously, he's put in the time, put in the effort, awesome career."

Tkachuk announced his retirement on Wednesday, news that team president John Davidson had anticipated.

"It was emotional for him," Davidson said. "He tries to put on that tough guy from Boston attitude, but he's really a softy."

The Ducks lost for only the second time in regulation (25-2-7) when leading after two periods. Anaheim got outshot 18-5 in the third period, two of the four goals on power plays, and 49-28 overall.

"We got in a little bit of penalty trouble at the end," goalie Curtis McElhinney said. "They got some momentum going and capitalzied on it."

Among the tributes to Tkachuk during the game was a fan sign that read "Thanks for the Teeth, Walt." -- a reference to Tkachuk losing four teeth and undergoing seven root canals after taking the puck in the mouth from the stick of teammate T.J. Oshie earlier in the season.

Beleskey scored unassisted for the game's first goal, also his first point in eight games, after stealing an outlet pass from Brad Winchester. He put Anaheim ahead 3-2 at 15:35 of the second on a shot that trickled past goalie Chris Mason.

Notes

  • The Blues announced their 33rd sellout of 19,150, although it appeared there were several hundred no-shows.
  • Five Ducks veterans, including Teemu Selanne, Scott Niedermayer and Saku Koivu, didn't even make the trip. Ryan Getzlaf missed his eighth game with a left ankle sprain. Carlyle said veterans are "probable" to play in Sunday's finale.
  • The Blues have shut down defensemen Barret Jackman and Roman Polak, both with upper body injuries, along with forwards Patrik Berglund (shoulder) and T.J. Oshie (upper body).
  • Ryan, who scored unassisted in the second, had four goals in four games against St. Louis.
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Keith Tkachuk and his family watch a video tribute honoring his career on the big screen. (AP)
Keith Tkachuk and his family watch a video tribute honoring his career on the big screen. (AP)

Scoreboard
Anaheim (38-32-11)1203
St. Louis  (40-32-9) «1146
Three Stars
K. Tkachuk
STL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
C. Mason
STL


Saves: 23
Save Pct.: .885
P. Kariya
STL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:36Matt Beleskey (9), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
13:58Lars Eller (2), Tip-In. Assist: Junland, Colaiacovo
2ND PERIOD
03:49Eric Brewer (8), Slap Shot. Assist: Perron, McDonald
08:25Bobby Ryan (35), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
15:35Matt Beleskey (10), Slap Shot. Assist: Perry, Ryan
3RD PERIOD
03:29Power Play - Carlo Colaiacovo (7), Slap Shot. Assist: Tkachuk, McDonald
16:10Jay McClement (11), Slap Shot. Assist: Colaiacovo, Weaver
16:33Andy McDonald (24), Tip-In. Assist: Tkachuk, Perron
17:59Power Play - David Backes (16), Wrist Shot. Assist: Perron, Junland
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:36Backes, 2 min, Interference
12:42Brown, 5 min, Fighting
12:42Crombeen, 5 min, Fighting
2ND PERIOD
01:08Carter, 2 min, Roughing
17:04Perron, 2 min, Tripping
18:39Brewer, 2 min, Roughing
18:39Bonino, 2 min, Roughing
3RD PERIOD
02:41Chipchura, 2 min, Hooking
08:04Brookbank, 2 min, Roughing
17:05Brookbank, 4 min, Roughing
17:05Brewer, 2 min, Cross-Checking
17:05Brewer, 2 min, Roughing
17:05Brookbank, 10 min, Misconduct
17:05Mikkelson, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
 123T
Anaheim615526
St. Louis12181848
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Curtis McElhinney59:36426
Chris Mason60:00233
Game Information
Attendance - 19150
Referees - Stephane Auger, Brian Pochmara
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Brian Murphy
 
Other Games
Chi 5 Final
Colo 2
Phi 3 Final
NYR 4
Det 1 Final
Colu 0
Atl 2 Final
Wash 5