COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Keith Tkachuk might have been the only person to think
his open-ice tackle was nothing special.
Tkachuk's hit on Columbus defenseman Darryl Sydor led to Doug Weight's goal
with 8.7 seconds left in overtime to give the St. Louis Blues a 3-2 victory
over the Blue Jackets on Friday night.
"It was one of those things," said Tkachuk, who assisted on Weight's goal
and added a goal of his own. "It was guys making contact. But guys make
contact all night. I can't worry about that."
Weight rammed in a pass from Pavol Demitra seconds after Tkachuk leveled
Sydor. When officials did not signal an obstruction call on Tkachuk, a crowd of
17,892 booed and threw cups on the ice.
Columbus coach Doug MacLean waved his arms and walked down to the boards to
protest the non-call as the officials left the ice.
"We deserved a better fate," MacLean said later, declining to comment on
the non-call. "We deserved a tie, obviously, and maybe a win."
The Blue Jackets' Todd Marchant skated hard to the net on a rush and his
shot was blocked by goaltender Brent Johnson before the puck was passed to
Tkachuk. Tkachuk then passed to Demitra to set up the game-winner.
"That could have been called," St. Louis coach Joel Quenneville said of
Tkachuk's hit. "You flip a coin and see which ones you want to call. You could
call it either way. Obviously, I'm not complaining. We got the win."
Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 19th goal midway through the third period
as the Blue Jackets came back from a two-goal deficit. Andrew Cassels added his
Nash was still fuming after the game.
"It was a bad call," he said. "Seventeen-thousand people saw it and
however many were watching it on TV could have made that call. It wasn't a
great decision by (the referee) not to call it."
Weight said: "I'm not going to say it couldn't have (been called). We're
not going to play blind. It could have been called, but I don't think it was as
huge as it looked."
Jamal Mayers also scored for the Blues, who ran their unbeaten streak to
The Blues scored twice in a span of just over four minutes of the opening
Mayers jumped on a funny bounce off the boards, rifling a shot from the
right dot that beat Fred Brathwaite.
Less than a minute into a power play, Eric Nickulas dug the puck off the
back wall and passed off the side of the net to Tkachuk, who easily punched in
his 15th goal.
The Blues are 11-2-1 when scoring first and 10-2-1 when ahead after one
period. Conversely, Columbus is 2-10-2-1 when giving up the first goal and
1-6-1 when trailing after one period.
Still, the Blue Jackets came back while the Blues played passive hockey for
the final 30 minutes of regulation.
David Vyborny outbattled Chris Pronger for the puck in the corner, then
controlled it and slid a pass to Geoff Sanderson for a one-timer from the high
slot. Johnson slowed the puck but it trickled behind him and Cassels jabbed it
into an empty net at 13:36 of the second.
The Blue Jackets then pulled even on their fourth consecutive power play.
Nash netted a slap shot with 10:13 left in regulation. The overall No. 1
draft pick last year scored 17 goals in 74 games last season and has 19 in 28
games this season. He came in tied with Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk for the NHL
lead despite playing three fewer games.
"In overtime, you don't like to see too many penalties called unless it
gives someone a scoring chance," Columbus defenseman Scott Lachance said.
"That gave them a 3-on-1. There's nothing we can do about it now, but it's