for this game

Toivonen helps Blues win as Tkachuk gets No. 500

Apr 6, 2008 - 11:14 PM
COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Hannu Toivonen made 34 saves en route to his first victory in nearly four months and Keith Tkachuk scored his 500th career goal Sunday as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1, in the season finale for both teams.

David Backes, Brad Boyes and David Perron also tallied for the Blues, who completed a sweep of the home-and-home series after having blanked the Blue Jackets, 3-0, in St. Louis on Saturday.

Michael Peca netted the lone goal for Columbus, which was winless over its last five games (0-4-1).

Toivonen, who had not won since December 7, 2007, was sensational in this one. The Finnish netminder stopped 13 shots in each of the first two periods and nine more in the third.

It's fun to win, especially the way we did," Toivonen said. "We battled for the last two games really hard and we were able to come away with the win. You feed off that in the offseason and keep working hard and getting better. We know that we can play, and we have to bring it every night.

"We have a lot of talent, a lot of good players, and obviously a special night with Keith getting his 500th goal. That is one of those things that is a special day for him and the whole team. It was fun to be a part of that, and congratulations to him."

Tkachuk, who set up Boyes' game-winner in the second period, fired a shot into an empty net while shorthanded with just 94 seconds left in the third. He scored three times in the last two games to reach the 500-goal mark just before the end of the season.

"I asked him how many (goals) he has had shorthanded empty nets and he couldn't remember one," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "That was exciting watching that puck go down the ice into the net. Five hundred goals is something special."

"It was great tonight to see Keith Tkachuk get his 500th goal," Perron added. "That, to me, was more exciting than my goal or anything else that happened tonight. It is just an unbelievable accomplishment."

The 36-year-old Tkachuk, who became just the 41st player to notch 500 career goals, credited his teammates - past and present - for reaching the milestone.

"I've just been very fortunate, played with a lot of great players," Tkachuk said. "They are the reason why I got 500 goals. To be able to do it in St. Louis, as a Blue, meant a lot to me. I wish I could have gotten it last night in front of my family and friends.

"You're just trying to survive and make it in the NHL. Sixteen years later, I look back at a number. It's a lot of hard work by your parents and people around you. Like I said, it's all the great players I've played with. They are the reason we are in this situation."

Boyes netted his 43rd goal of the season with 6:52 left in the second. After Paul Kariya's shot deflected off Tkachuk in front of the net, Boyes picked up the loose puck in the right faceoff circle and beat goaltender Fredrik Norrena to the stick side to give the Blues a 2-1 edge.

Norrena stopped 15 of the 18 shots he faced.

Peca opened the scoring at 4:50 of the first period, but the Blue Jackets could not generate any more offense and the Blues scored the next four goals.

"We just couldn't get the breaks to go our way," Peca said. "It seemed to be the case down the stretch of the season where even games that we probably deserved to win, we just weren't getting the breaks and seemed to have ones go against us. That's the way it goes."

Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock was starting to talk about a new era for the Blue Jackets as the season came to a close.

"We've entered a new phase, and the phase is - win now," he said. "That's a whole different mind set, completely different than what we've had here. The player is going to (come in and) help us win or not. That's the whole focus."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1 2 4
    COLUMBUS 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) MICHAEL PECA 8 (RICK NASH, RON HAINSEY) 4:50
    STL - DAVID BACKES 13 (DAVID PERRON, JEFF WOYWITKA) 14:46
    2ND PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 43 (KEITH TKACHUK, PAUL KARIYA) 13:08
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) DAVID PERRON 13 (ER

    Apr 6 5:33 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 4
    COLUMBUS 1
    3RD PRD: STL - (EN) KEITH TKACHUK 27 (ERIK JOHNSON, BARRET JACKMAN)
    18:26

    Blues 4, Blue Jackets 1  3rd - 1:34Apr 6 5:32 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 3
    COLUMBUS 1
    3RD PRD: STL - (PP) DAVID PERRON 13 (ERIC BREWER, LEE STEMPNIAK) 10:12

    Blues 3, Blue Jackets 1  3rd - 9:48Apr 6 5:09 PM


  • ------------------------------
    St Louis
    1 1 --2
    Columbus 1 0 --1
    ------------------------------

    Shots on goal:
    ----------------------------------
    St Louis 7 4 --11
    Columbus 14 13 --27
    ----------------------------------

    Goalies : St Louis, Hannu Toivonen (27 shots, 26 saves). Columbus,
    Fredrik Norrena (11 shots, 9 saves). Referees: Rob Marte

    Apr 6 4:33 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 2
    COLUMBUS 1
    2ND PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 43 (PAUL KARIYA, ERIC BREWER) 13:08

    Blues 2, Blue Jackets 1  2nd - 6:52Apr 6 4:22 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 1 1
    COLUMBUS 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) MICHAEL PECA 8 (RICK NASH, RON HAINSEY) 4:50
    STL - DAVID BACKES 13 (DAVID PERRON, JEFF WOYWITKA) 14:46
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 7 7


    Apr 6 3:41 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: STL - DAVID BACKES 13 (DAVID PERRON, JEFF WOYWITKA) 14:46

    Blues 1, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 5:14Apr 6 3:33 PM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    COLUMBUS 1
    1ST PRD: COB - (PP) MICHAEL PECA 8 (RICK NASH, RON HAINSEY) 4:50
    (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Blues 0, Blue Jackets 1  1st - 15:10Apr 6 3:18 PM