Published April 09, 2010
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Keith Tkachuk set up the tying goal in his home finale and assisted on an insurance goal, adding meaning to the St. Louis Blues' postgame tribute to the 38-year-old forward in a 6-3 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
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 at 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.
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.
Surrounded by three children, his 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 has 427 points in 541 games with St. Louis, along with 676 penalty minutes.
The Ducks lost for only the second time in regulation (25-2-7) when leading after two periods.
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. ... 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.