for this game

Tkachuk nets a pair as Blues trounce Predators

Oct 11, 2008 - 5:21 AM ST. LOUIS (Ticker) -- Keith Tkachuk is proving he is far from finished.

Tkachuk scored a pair of power-play goals as the St. Louis Blues snapped a 10-game winless streak in season openers Friday with a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Predators.

Defenseman Barret Jackman, Brad Boyes and David Backes also tallied for the Blues, who had gone 0-6-4 in their previous 10 season openers.

"It was a win, and first games are tough," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "It's very gratifying. There's nothing worse than not winning your opener at home. It's going to be a battle every night. This one feels good, though."

Four players collected two assists apiece and Manny Legace made 20 saves for St. Louis, which improved to 19-14-8 overall in season-opening games.

Blue-liner Ryan Suter and Joel Ward each netted a goal for the Predators, who went 0-for-4 on the power play and fell to 4-6-0 in season openers.

Drafted 19th overall by Winnipeg in 1990, Tkachuk is entering his 17th season in the NHL. The 36-year-old native of Massachusetts has shown no signs of slowing down, however, as he scored 27 goals each of the past two campaigns while reaching the 500-tally plateau with his final goal of 2007-08.

Tkachuk got off to a great start this season, knotting this contest at 1-1 midway through the first period and giving St. Louis a 4-2 lead at nearly the exact same juncture of the middle session.

"We were outshooting them and were off to a great start, and then we started getting in penalty trouble," Nashville's Scott Nichol said. "They scored, and then they scored right again 5-on-5, and that killed the momentum. We've got to manage the game a little bit more."

After Suter gave Nashville a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the game at 2:03 of the opening period, Tkachuk one-timed Paul Kariya's cross-slot pass past goaltender Dan Ellis from the right faceoff circle with 7:15 left in the session. With the Blues clinging to a 3-2 advantage, the four-time United States Olympian converted a pass from David Perron during another power play with 7:09 remaining in the second to cap his two-goal effort.

"It's an experiment, and it's working right now, so you've got to keep going with it," Tkachuk said of St. Louis' power-play success. "We're getting more shots, that's the key. ... It's working right, but we have to work. Special teams win you games."

Backes completed the scoring less than four minutes later, putting a shot through traffic and past Ellis with 3:33 to go in the period for St. Louis' fourth man-advantage goal on six opportunities. Conversely, the Blues kept the Predators scoreless on four chances.

"We did a lot of good things on special teams," Backes said. "We moved the puck well on the power play and took some really good shots. On the PK, we got everything out of our end and let them have nothing in the way of a serious opportunity."

"Last year, we didn't have a lot of success (on the power play), and it wasn't the concept," Murray added. "We changed the point of attack and moved the puck on both sides of the ice. But a lot of guys made plays tonight who have to make plays."

Jackman gave the Blues a 2-1 edge just 33 seconds after Tkachuk's first-period goal. Pinching from the left point, the former Calder Trophy winner received a pass from behind the net by Perron and fired the puck by Ellis for his first tally - one shy of his total from last season.

"They had a good plan and had good chemistry," Ellis said. "Those guys can all see the ice very well and they shoot the puck well."

Boyes doubled the lead during a power play at 3:28 of the second, but Ward got the Predators within 3-2 less than five minutes later with a shot from above the right circle.

"The power play was the difference," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "It changed momentum, it changed the course of the game. We can't give up four power-play goals and win a hockey game."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1 0 2
    ST LOUIS 2 3 0 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (SCOTT NICHOL, JORDIN TOOTOO) 2:03
    STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 1 (PAUL KARIYA, LEE STEMPNIAK)
    12:45
    STL - BARRET JACKMAN 1 (DAVID PERRON, CHRIS PORTER) 13:18
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) BRAD BOYES 1 (PAUL KAR

    Oct 10 11:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1 2
    ST LOUIS 2 3 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (SCOTT NICHOL, JORDIN TOOTOO) 2:03
    STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 1 (PAUL KARIYA, LEE STEMPNIAK)
    12:45
    STL - BARRET JACKMAN 1 (DAVID PERRON, CHRIS PORTER) 13:18
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) BRAD BOYE

    Oct 10 10:20 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    ST LOUIS 5
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) DAVID BACKES 1 (LEE STEMPNIAK, ANDY MCDONALD)
    16:27

    Predators 2, Blues 5  2nd - 3:33Oct 10 10:14 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    ST LOUIS 4
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 2 (DAVID PERRON, PATRIK BERGLUND)
    12:51

    Predators 2, Blues 4  2nd - 7:09Oct 10 10:08 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 2
    ST LOUIS 3
    2ND PRD: NAS - JOEL WARD 1 (JEAN-PIERRE DUMONT, JASON ARNOTT) 7:43

    Predators 2, Blues 3  2nd - 12:17Oct 10 9:55 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ST LOUIS 3
    2ND PRD: STL - (PP) BRAD BOYES 1 (PAUL KARIYA, ANDY MCDONALD) 3:28

    Predators 1, Blues 3  2nd - 16:32Oct 10 9:47 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    NASHVILLE 1 1
    ST LOUIS 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (SCOTT NICHOL, JORDIN TOOTOO) 2:03
    STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 1 (PAUL KARIYA, LEE STEMPNIAK)
    12:45
    STL - BARRET JACKMAN 1 (DAVID PERRON, CHRIS PORTER) 13:18
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2N

    Oct 10 9:23 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ST LOUIS 2
    1ST PRD: STL - BARRET JACKMAN 1 (DAVID PERRON, CHRIS PORTER) 13:18

    Predators 1, Blues 2  1st - 6:42Oct 10 9:11 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ST LOUIS 1
    1ST PRD: STL - (PP) KEITH TKACHUK 1 (PAUL KARIYA, LEE STEMPNIAK) 12:45

    Predators 1, Blues 1  1st - 7:15Oct 10 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    NASHVILLE 1
    ST LOUIS 0
    1ST PRD: NAS - RYAN SUTER 1 (SCOTT NICHOL, JORDIN TOOTOO) 2:03

    Predators 1, Blues 0  1st - 17:57Oct 10 8:53 PM