Tkachuk had two goals in his first game against his former team
to lead the St. Louis Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Phoenix
Coyotes on Saturday.
"You're always nervous anytime you play against your former
teammates," Tkachuk said. "I didn't sleep much last night because
I was nervous."
His nerves weren't showing when he got a power-play goal at 2:21
of the first to give St. Louis the lead for good.
"You have to separate the past and the present when you get on
the ice but we knew he was going to be up for it," said Coyote
coach Bob Francis. "He's a power forward with great hands and
great coordination around the net and he showed it tonight."
Tkachuk got his ninth of the season at 10:14 of the second
period when he redirected Demitra's pass on a 2-on-1.
"I just drove to the net and he put it right on my tape,"
Blues coach Joel Quenneville knows Tkachuk is pleased with his
individual -- and the team's -- performance.
"I'm sure he's happy that it's over and I'm sure he likes the
result," Quenneville said.
Demitra knew Tkachuk wanted to play well against the Coyotes.
"It's always nice to beat a team that trades you," Demitra
Ladislav Nagy scored for Phoenix at 9:01 of the third period.
Nagy poked home a rebound for his first of the year. Nagy returned
to the Phoenix lineup Saturday after missing seven games with a
"It was really important for me to score but I wished we could
have won," Nagy said.
Blues' goaltender Fred Brathwaite was not challenged much by the
Coyotes in the first two periods. Phoenix did not reach
double-digits in shots until the beginning of the third period.
The win was the fifth in the last six games for St. Louis.
The Coyotes have lost five of their last seven games.
Phoenix lost its fourth consecutive game at Savvis Center. The
Coyotes have not won in St. Louis since Oct. 10, 1999.
Brathwaite made 23 saves while Esche stopped 34 shots.
"One of these days we're going to play a good game in front of
Esche," Francis said. "He can't be faulted for any of the
Phoenix defenseman Teppo Numminen missed his second game
with a broken foot. ... St. Louis is 7-1-2 when scoring a
power-play goal. ... Brathwaite started consecutive games for the
first time since Oct. 17 and 19. ... St. Louis is 7-1-0 when
scoring first. ... Goaltender Sean Burke had played in 11 of
Phoenix's last 13 games.