Blues' Tkachuk nears 500 NHL goals
Scores Nos. 498, 499 in 3-0 victory over Blue Jackets
Keith Tkachuk scored the 498th and 499th goals of his career, and Manny Legace earned his 27th career shutout as St. Louis beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-0 in the Blues' regular-season home finale Saturday.
Brad Boyes also scored his team-leading 42nd goal and Paul Kariya added two assists for the Blues, who won all four matchups with the Blue Jackets at home this season. Legace stopped 25 shots for his fifth shutout of the season.
The Blue Jackets, who dropped their fifth game in six decisions (1-4-1), were outscored 14-2 in their last three games in St. Louis.
Despite being outshot 13-7 in the opening period, the Blues grabbed a 2-0 lead on power-play goals by Boyes and Tkachuk.
The Blues, who came in with the worst power play in the league at 13.5 percent, were two-for-three in the opening period. Boyes got things started at 8:36 when he fired a shot from the left circle past Pascal Leclaire after taking a pass from rookie Erik Johnson.
With Columbus' Andrew Murray in the box for interference, Tkachuk made it 2-0 at 15:54 when he deflected in a slapshot from Kariya that got through Leclaire's pads.
Columbus' Michael Peca missed out on a chance to slice the Blues' lead in half when his shot from the right circle hit the left post 1:21 into the second period.
Tkachuk got his 26th of the season and second of the game on a beautiful feed into the slot from Kariya following a two-on-one break as the pass got through Columbus defenceman Ron Hainsey 1:30 into the third period for a 3-0 lead.
Tkachuk's bid for goal No. 500 came with 8:21, but his slapshot from the top of the left circle was handled by Leclaire. He had another chance at the hat trick with 3:04 remaining, but a pass from Boyes was smothered by Leclaire.
Kariya gave Tkachuk another chance with a centring feed with 1:49 to play, but the pass into the crease was just out of Tkachuk's reach as the Blues forward went crashing into the Blue Jackets' goal.