Tkachuk records 1,000th point in victory over Thrashers

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By Phil Foley

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Keith Tkachuk ended a long power play slump

for the St. Louis Blues and made history along the way. Brad

Boyes made sure that St. Louis' next chance with the man

advantage was fruitful as well.

Tkachuk became the 72nd player in NHL history to record 1,000

points with a power-play tally in the second period and Boyes

scored the game winner in the third, leading the Blues to a 4-2

win over the listless Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday afternoon at

Philips Arena.

David Backes scored his fourth goal of the season and Chris

Mason set aside 28 shots for St. Louis, which recorded a

season-best 47 shots on net.

"It was nice to go into the second period and get a goal to tie

it up," Tkachuk said. "It was exciting to celebrate and have

the guys come out on the ice. This was a big win."

The St. Louis power play unit has struggled of late, misfiring

on 11 straight chances entering its matinee matchup in Atlanta

before failing to convert on its first opportunity here.

Tkachuk and the Blues made chance No. 13 a historic one.

The 1990 first round pick took advantage of an opportunistic

rebound, banging the puck past Atlanta goaltender Ondrej Pavelec

to notch his 1,000th career point with 4:57 remaining in the

second period to knot the game at 2-2.

"I was in the right place at the right time," Tkachuk said.

And the right place was on his knees as the hard working center

fell to the ice as he was lofting in the milestone tally into

the net.

"I saw the puck (go in)," Tkachuk said. "I guess it's fitting

to get a goal on the power play like that. It's really cool."

His teammates rushed onto the ice to congratulate the four-time

All-Star, who became just sixth American to eclipse the

quadruple digits plateau.

"Most of Tkachuk's goals have come two feet in front of the

net," Blues coach Andy Murray said. "It was kind of special to

be a part of that."

Tkachuk, who briefly played with the Thrashers during their only

playoff run in 2007, was given a standing ovation by the crowd

when the milestone was announced.

Atlanta coach John Anderson, whose club is 1-5-1 over its last

five games, was one of the few not celebrating Tkachuk's

accomplishment.

"Congratulations to him on the goal," Anderson said. "But I

would rather it have been to someone other than us."

The Blues celebrated what would be the game-winning goal on

their next power play opportunity.

With Ron Hainsey in the box for hooking, Carlo Colaiacovo

feigned a shot, but instead dished the puck to Boyes in the

slot, who blasted the puck past Pavelec from the doorstep at

11:45 of the third period.

"My initial plan was to shoot," Colaiacovo said. "I saw two

guys coming at me. I saw Boyes all by himself and I tried to

get it to him. He made a great play at the net."

Center Jeff McClement added his firth goal of the season with an

empty net tally with 2.6 seconds remaining to seal the victory.

"I thought maybe after the 10 minute mark of the second period,

we stopped competing," Anderson said. "And (St. Louis) was a

team that played yesterday. They just dominated us. We have to

compete more. We've stopped competing."

The blistering Blues attack battered Atlanta netminder Pavelec,

who steered aside 43 shots.

"Ondrej played a (heck) of a game," blueliner Niclas Havelid

said. "He played an unbelievable game and we hung him out to

dry."

Backes opened the scoring by chipping in a rebound from the

doorstep 4:38 into the contest to post St. Louis to a 1-0 lead

before Colby Armstrong followed with a tally at the 6:32 mark.

The Atlanta right wing grabbed the rebound from blueliner Ron

Hainsey's blast and poked it past St. Louis netminder Chris

Mason to tie the contest at 1-1.

Niclas Havelid followed with a wrister from the blueline past a

screened Mason, giving Atlanta a one-goal lead at 18:35 of the

first period. The goal was the first of the year for the Atlanta

defenseman, who last found the net on November 21, 2007 at the

Washington Capitals.

"I just tried to get the puck in front of the net on my goal,

hoping to hit someone and have it go in, but it went straight

in," Havelid said. "It was a lucky goal. I was a little

surprised, but sometimes, they go in."

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