Power-play goals by Tkachuk and Drake in the first period
powered St. Louis to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on
Drake did just about everything. Besides scoring his fourth
goal, he also had an assist, blocked a shot, and provided a key
defensive play. He beat Trent Klatt to the puck and cleared it out
of the Blues zone.
"Dallas is an animal," Tkachuk said. "He deserves the hard
hat we give out every night. He puts himself in a bad situation
every time out. More of us should look to that for incentive
because you want 20 of those guys."
Drake knows that's the only way he can be successful.
"If I don't play like that, and I've said it many times, I
won't be in the league very long," Drake said. "I'll be sitting
at the end of a bench somewhere. That's how I have to play to be
successful. If I get away from that, I get in trouble."
Blues coach Joel Quenneville likes just what Drake gives the
"Drake was great," Quenneville said. "He did everything. He
blocked a couple of key shots, got a good stick on one late in the
game. He scored. So, he did everything we're hoping for and more."
The Blues killed off three penalties to win for the sixth time
in seven home games. St. Louis is 8-2 at home and ranks first in
the NHL in penalty-killing there, having allowed just two
Tkachuk, who skated in his 800th NHL game, scored his 13th goal
of the season from the slot at 6:59 of the first. Tkachuk has
scored eight times in nine games.
The Blues regained the lead at 16:44 when Drake alertly put in
the rebound of a shot by Eric Nickulas.
St. Louis scored on its second shot of the second period when
Nickulas picked up a loose puck at the right side of the crease.
Nickulas skated to his left and beat goalie Roman Cechmanek with a
backhander at 8:13.
The Kings replaced Cechmanek with Cristobal Huet after he
allowed three goals on nine shots. In his previous two starts,
Cechmanek allowed one goal in each -- both wins.
"It's hockey and my job is to stop the puck," Cechmanek said.
"When it's 3-1, the coach is trying to do something with the
Kings coach Andy Murray said the Blues outworked his club.
"We knew it would be a grind and check it out game," Murray
said. "We're two hardworking teams. We play a lot of the same and
obviously their lineup has a few more naturally gifted offensive
The Kings held a 28-21 shots advantage over the Blues, 11-1 when
leading after two periods.
Drake scored an empty-net goal at 18:38, giving the Blues a 4-1
lead. It was Drake's 10th career two-goal game and his first since
Nov. 9, 2002.<
^Notes@: The Kings and Blues wore vintage sweaters with St. Louis
sporting blue jerseys from the 1979-80 season while the Kings wore
replicas of their triple crown-era sweaters from the 1980-81
season. ... Martin Straka debuted for the Kings, who acquired him
from Pittsburgh on Sunday. ... St. Louis won 1-0 at Los Angeles on