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Tkachuk goes out a winner as Blues top Ducks 6-3

by John Kreiser
Keith Tkachuk said goodbye to the NHL with a pair of assists in the last game of his career as the St. Louis Blues beat the Anaheim Ducks 6-3 on Friday night in their final home game of the season.

Tkachuk announced Wednesday that he is retiring after 19 seasons, the last nine spent in St. Louis except for a month with Atlanta in 2006-07.

Tkachuk had both of his assists in the third period, when the Blues scored four times to erase a 3-2 deficit. His first assist came on Carlo Colaiacovo's power-play goal at 3:29 that tied the game. After Jay McClement put St. Louis ahead with 3:50 remaining, Tkachuk set up Andrew McDonald's 24th of the season 33 seconds later.

David Backes added an insurance goal with 2:01 remaining.

"It was a special moment as soon as I got on the ice in warmups and it carried on all game," Tkachuk said of his final NHL game. "The way it ended, you couldn't have scripted it better. It was incredible."

Tkachuk was honored in a post-game ceremony, taking a lap around the Scottrade Center ice with his three children.

"Words can't express how I feel right now," an emotional Tkachuk said. "I owe the game of hockey and the fans everything. They don't owe me anything."

Tkachuk finished his NHL career with 538 goals and 1,065 points in 1,201 games -- and the admiration and respect of his teammates.

"I'm proud to have been a teammate of his," goalie Chris Mason said.

A prototype power forward in his prime, Tkachuk is one of only four players to accumulate 1,000 points and 2,000 penalty minutes.

"I was there for his first game and I guess I'm here for his last game," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, a former teammate of Tkachuk's with the Winnipeg Jets. "Keith's been a competitor a long, long time."

Among the tributes to Tkachuk during the game was a fan sign that read "Thanks for the Teeth, Walt." -- a reference to Tkachuk losing four teeth and undergoing seven root canals after taking the puck in the mouth from the stick of teammate T.J. Oshie earlier in the season. He got the nickname "Walt" because his name is pronounced the same way as former New York Rangers center Walt Tkaczuk.

Matt Beleskey had two goals for Anaheim, which ends its season at home against Edmonton on Sunday. The second, at 15:35 of the second period, put the Ducks ahead 3-2.

The Blues won their last six home games but still wound up at 18-18-5 at Scottrade Center, among the worst home records in the NHL and the biggest reason they couldn't repeat last season's playoff drive.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
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