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Cheechoo nets hat trick as Sharks pound Kings

Apr 2, 2007 - 2:21 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Jonathan Cheechoo is heating up at a great time for the San Jose Sharks.

Cheechoo netted a hat trick and Joe Thornton had four assists as the Sharks posted an important 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.

Mark Bell, Milan Michalek and Patrick Rissmiller also scored for the Sharks (49-26-4), who moved into a second-place tie with the Dallas Stars (48-24-6), four points back of the idle first-place Anaheim Ducks (47-20-12) in the Pacific Division.

San Jose, which has scored 22 goals in its last five contests, is 11-1-2 in its last 14 games.

"I'm actually glad we got through this patch of games against teams that aren't in the playoffs," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "Now, we get a little test of the meat of the teams that are qualifying for the playoffs, especially that game with Anaheim."

The Sharks and Ducks have three games left while the Stars have four games remaining. San Jose plays at Anaheim on Wednesday.

"I don't think there's any sense of urgency to catch Dallas or Anaheim," San Jose defenseman Craig Rivet said. "The focus is in this room. We can't control what Dallas, Minnesota or Anaheim do. We're focused on this dressing room."

Cheechoo, who has 10 goals in his last six contests, started a four-goal Sharks explosion in the second period, when he deflected Rivet's shot from the point past goaltender Sean Burke for a 2-1 lead.

The reigning Maurice Richard Trophy winner gave the Sharks a 4-1 lead just over seven minutes later and capped his third hat trick of the season when he one-timed Thornton's pass past Burke for a 5-1 advantage with 1:34 left in the period.

"It was tough for us to get going, we took a lot of unnecessary penalties in the first period and allowed them to get back into it," Cheechoo said. "In the second, we kind of got everyone involved, all four lines were going. We ended up drawing some penalties doing that, and we capitalized on our chances."

"In the second period, they just dominated," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "Obviously, when they smelled blood, they got a little bit hungrier. They really were way too much for us to handle."

Thornton leads the NHL with 88 assists and has 110 points, seven behind Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league lead. The All-Star center has 34 points in his last 19 games.

"I think it's a good sign, Cheech and I are clicking," Thornton said. "You want to play well down the stretch, and he's playing great, so is Milan (Michalek). It makes my job easier just finding the guys with the hot stick. It's nice we are getting hot at just the right time of the year, I think."

"I think the whole team's going well at the right time of the year, not just me an Joe," Cheechoo said. "We are getting some big wins here, and this is what playoff hockey is all about. You have to get on a roll, and you can't wait for the playoffs to start."

San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov made 18 saves and is 7-0-1 in his last eight starts, and has allowed just 15 goals in that span. Michael Cammalleri and Alexander Frolov scored for the Kings, who will miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season.

"We played a team that's pretty confident right now," Burke said. "They could smell blood in the second period, and they went out and took advantage."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 0 1 2
    SAN JOSE 1 4 1 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - MARK BELL 10 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 2:49
    LOS - (PP) MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 32 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, ANZE
    KOPITAR) 16:15
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 33 (CRAIG RIVET, JOE THORNTON)
    2:49
    SAN - MILAN

    Apr 1 8:23 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    SAN JOSE 6
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) PAT RISSMILLER 7 (MIKE GRIER, CURTIS BROWN) 13:31

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 2
    SAN JOSE 5
    3RD PRD: LOS - ALEXANDER FROLOV 35 (AARON MILLER) 8:49

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 8:05 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 0 1
    SAN JOSE 1 4 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - MARK BELL 10 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 2:49
    LOS - (PP) MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 32 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, ANZE
    KOPITAR) 16:15
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 33 (CRAIG RIVET, JOE THORNTON)
    2:4

    Apr 1 7:30 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    SAN JOSE 5
    2ND PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 34 (JOE THORNTON) 18:26

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 7:29 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    SAN JOSE 4
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) MILAN MICHALEK 25 (JONATHAN CHEECHOO, CRAIG RIVET)
    9:54

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 7:13 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    SAN JOSE 3
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 24 (JOE THORNTON) 6:23

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 7:05 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 33 (CRAIG RIVET, JOE THORNTON)
    2:49

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 7:02 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS ANGELES 1 1
    SAN JOSE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: SAN - MARK BELL 10 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 2:49
    LOS - (PP) MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 32 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, ANZE
    KOPITAR) 16:15
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    LOS 9

    Apr 1 6:39 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 1
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: LOS - (PP) MICHAEL CAMMALLERI 32 (PATRICK O'SULLIVAN, ANZE
    KOPITAR) 16:15 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 6:32 PM


  • NHL
    LOS ANGELES 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - MARK BELL 10 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 2:49

    Kings vs. SharksApr 1 6:09 PM