NHL Game Summary - Anaheim at San Jose
(Tuesday, December 20th)
Final Score: San Jose 4, Anaheim 2
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Jonathan Cheechoo recorded his first career hat trick, including a goal on a short-handed penalty shot, to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 victory over the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim at the Shark Tank.
Cheechoo also scored on the power play and at even strength for the Sharks, who bounced back from the opener of this home-and-home series after the Ducks won Sunday's matchup 5-4. That setback was San Jose's first since the acquisition of former Boston captain Joe Thornton on November 30. San Jose is now 7-1 in the month of December.
Scott Parker also scored and Evgeni Nabokov made 33 saves in the win.
Petr Sykora and Teemu Selanne scored for Anaheim, which failed to record a point for only the third time in its last 12 games (7-3-2).
Jean-Sebastien Giguere allowed four goals on 18 shots before he was pulled in the third period in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov saved all three shots he faced.
An early two-man advantage in the opening period paved the way for a 1-0 Sharks lead. Following concurrent penalties to Chris Kunitz and Jonathan Hedstrom, for interference and delay of game, respectively, the Sharks set up in the zone and worked the puck around the perimeter.
Tom Preissing took a slap shot from the high slot and, despite heavy traffic in front, Giguere made the save. However the rebound bounced out of his glove and Cheechoo, stationed at the left post, punched home his 14th goal at 2:17.
Only 70 seconds later, the Sharks tallied again for a two-goal edge.
After a dump-in by defenseman Scott Hannan, the puck settled at the base of the left half-wall and Mark Smith hustled to it for possession. Smith sent a quick pass to the goal mouth, where Parker's redirection at 3:27 made it 2-0.
The Ducks gained a two-man advantage in the latter stages of the opening period and used it to get on the scoreboard when Sykora's one-timer from the high slot beat Nabokov at 18:00.
In the third, Cheechoo took control by scoring twice in a 30-second span that completed his hat trick and broke the game open.
Skating short-handed, Cheechoo hustled through the neutral zone and went in on a breakaway before he was hauled down and awarded the uncontested shot. On the penalty shot, Cheechoo dipped his shoulder to get Giguere on his heels and lifted the disc upstairs at the 4:46 mark.
"I came in, trying to set myself up so I could shoot at any time," said Cheechoo of his strategy on the penalty shot. "I got into shooting position and he dropped down pretty early, so I knew I just had to get it upstairs."
Cheechoo remained on the ice and his great individual effort led to a 4-1 San Jose advantage 30 seconds later.
The Ducks were in the midst of a disorganized line change and Cheechoo gained control at the right point with a head of steam. He shook off a hip check from Anaheim defenseman Francois Beauchemin, went in on a partial breakaway and rifled a wrist shot that lit the lamp and sent Giguere to the bench.
"I picked up the loose puck and saw a lane to the net," Cheechoo commented on his third goal. "I saw a guy coming to hit me and used his momentum to go to the net."
Selanne's 17th goal with 6:42 remaining in regulation cut the Ducks deficit to 4-2, but it was not enough and the Sharks cruised to the two-goal victory.
Alyn McCauley notched the last San Jose hat trick against Florida on November 1, 2003. The last home Sharks hat trick was recorded on April 6, 2002 by Patrick Marleau against Detroit...San Jose is now 14-2-2 when scoring first this season...With his assist on Sykora's goal, Anaheim's Scott Niedermayer became the 10th defenseman in NHL history to reach 500 points...Anaheim defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh missed his 10th straight game with a knee injury...Thornton extended his point streak to 14 games with an assist. It is the longest current points streak in the NHL...The Sharks have won six of the last eight meetings against the Ducks...The Sharks have been awarded two other penalty shots this season. On October 8, Marleau scored against Patrick Lalime of St. Louis. Several weeks later, on October 26, Marcel Goc was unsuccessful against Dallas' Marty Turco...The Sharks ended 1-for-3 on the power play, while Anaheim was 2-for-9 with the extra skater...Attendance was 16,172.
12/21 01:58:27 ET