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Matthew Tkachuk Gets Hat Trick in Hometown of St. Louis



Matthew Tkachuk celebrates after scoring one of his three goals in the third period as Kevin Hayes looks on. The Panthers won their eighth straight game, beating the Blues 5-1 on Tuesday night in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Matthew Tkachuk had a night to remember in his hometown of St. Louis.

With mom Chantal, dad, and Blues legend Keith in attendance not to mention dozens of childhood friends, Tkachuk scored a natural hat trick in the third period to lead the Florida Panthers to a 5-1 victory over the Blues on Tuesday night.

The win gave the Panthers an eight-game winning streak — third-longest in franchise history.

The 2021-22 Panthers won 13 straight.

“Yeah, I love it here,” Tkachuk told Bally Sports Florida’s Katie Engleson postgame.

“Not only was my family here, but there are so many people here looking through the crowd that I know, ran into, or have crossed paths with before. St. Louis is such a small town, which is one thing I really love about it, and it seemed like there were a lot of people at the game tonight, and I am glad I was able to come through.”

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One young fan donned a red Panthers jersey with Tkachuk’s name on the back, holding a sign with a message for Matthew.

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“Tkachuk, score a hat trick for me.”

And he did.

After feeding Sam Reinhart for the go-ahead goal 1:11 into the second, Tkachuk went to work in the third.

He first blasted a one-time feed from Carter Verhaeghe past Joel Hofer 2:18 in to put the Panthers up 3-1.

Tkachuk then deflected a Gus Forsling shot past Hofer just over three minutes later for his second of the game.

And after enduring nearly three-straight minutes of fending off a 6-on-5 Blues unit desperately trying to tie the game, Tkachuk lobbed one into the empty net for the hat trick.

Three goals in the third period for one guy?

“It’s very rare, but with that player, I’m going to say … not so much,” Florida coach Paul Maurice said.

“He’s done so many amazing things overall, and we’re not really shocked, but good for him. He’s got lots of family in town, this is a special place for him. He’s got an ability to rise to the occasion in the big games and the family is in town here tonight, it’s the end of the road trip, we needed something and he brought it.”

Tkachuk has gotten some flack for a slow start — one where he had 22 points in 32 games and one Maurice said he is still getting some unwarranted grief for — but Tkachuk has picked it up as of late.

He has six goals and 17 points in the team’s eight-game winning streak, which started on Dec. 23.

All six goals scored came in the four games the team has played since the calendar flipped to 2024.

“The media is always lagging in some departments,” Maurice said. “There was a headline about Matthew on why he is on such a horrible start, and he is on a ripper right now.”

Tkachuk’s rise in points has heavily correlated with the team settling into its defense-first style of play throughout the eight-game winning streak.

For Tkachuk, it meant not forcing offense off the rush and from the perimeter and driving the net as he naturally does.

“I haven’t changed anything,” Tkachuk said. “I’m just trying to get to the net more. I haven’t changed anything in my routine, or how I get to games, so I guess I was just waiting to get to 2024.”



  • When: Thursday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL App
  • Last Season: Los Angeles won 2-0
  • This Season (Kings Lead 1-0) — At Los Angeles: Kings 2, Panthers 1 (Nov. 17). At Florida: Thursday.
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Los Angeles leads 26-14-0, 3 ties

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