Originally created 05/08/02

Blues 6, Red Wings 1



ST. LOUIS -- Keith Tkachuk had his first playoff hat trick as the St. Louis Blues put a huge dent in Dominik Hasek's aura of invincibility, beating the Detroit Red Wings 6-1 Tuesday night.

The Blues shaved their second-round series deficit to 2-1.

They got 27 saves from Brent Johnson and will try to even the series Thursday night in St. Louis.

Tkachuk, who led the Blues with 38 goals during the regular season, has four goals in the postseason. He scored once in each period, putting deflections past Hasek in the first and second periods, then converting Pavol Demitra's setup on a 3-on-2 break in the third.

The power play also came to life for the Blues, who ended an 0-for-10 drought with a pair of goals. Scott Mellanby scored on a two-man advantage in the first period, and Tkachuk's second goal came on a power play for St. Louis, which was 2-for-5 overall. The Red Wings' power play was 0-for-6.

Demitra had three assists and a short-handed goal, and Chris Pronger had three assists for the Blues, who treated Hasek rudely.

Hasek stopped 58 of 60 shots in the first two games, including his eighth career playoff shutout in Game 1. But the Blues built confidence by scoring a pair of third-period goals in a 3-2 Game 2 loss, and they scored twice on eight first-period shots in Game 3.

Tkachuk's third goal at 1:53 of the third made it four goals in only 15 shots against Hasek. Demitra's fourth goal of the playoffs - on the 16th shot - chased Hasek at 9:26 as Manny Legace went the rest of the way.

Legace gave up a goal on the first shot he faced, with Jamal Mayers scoring unassisted, making it three goals on three shots in the period for St. Louis.

Rookie Pavel Datsyuk got his second goal of the playoffs off Brett Hull's feed for the Red Wings, who started fast with a 6-1 shots edge in the first five minutes of the game. But the Blues carried play much of the rest of the way.

Mellanby, a 15-goal scorer in 64 regular-season games whose career best is 32, has been the Blues' big gun in the postseason. He scored his sixth goal and eighth point in eight playoff games.

Tkachuk gave the Blues their first lead of the series, and put the Red Wings in an unaccustomed early hole, when he deflected Demitra's high shot down and in on the Blues' second shot of the game. It ended a string of six straight game-opening goals in the postseason by the Red Wings, who scored on their first shot in Game 2 and their second in Game 1.

It took the Red Wings only 27 seconds to answer. Datsyuk had an empty right side of the net after Hull passed instead of shooting.

St. Louis regained the lead when Mellanby scored with 56.3 seconds left in the period on a 5-on-3 advantage. Mellanby beat Hasek from the left side of the net off a feed from Al MacInnis.

Pronger's second goal of the playoffs gave the Blues, who never led in the first two games, at two-goal advantage.

Notes: Blues D Alexander Khavanov played for the first time since Game 1 of the opening round. He was a speedier alternative to Marc Bergevin, who played the previous seven games. ... The Blues have lost 11 straight series when dropping the first two games. ... Blues F Ray Ferraro, considered questionable for Game 3 due to an undisclosed injury, took regular shifts. ... Scott Young had the Blues' last playoff hat trick, on April 23, 2000 against the San Jose Sharks.