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Cheechoo, Thornton help Sharks rout Blues

Jan 25, 2008 - 7:47 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- This is exactly the way the San Jose Sharks wanted to head into the All-Star break.

Jonathan Cheechoo scored two goals and Joe Thornton added three assists as the Sharks rolled to a 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.

Milan Michalek also notched a tally and two assists as San Jose picked up its second straight win after a four-game losing streak.

The victory also vaulted the Sharks into second place in the Western Conference after the Dallas Stars and the Anaheim Ducks suffered setbacks earlier on Thursday. The three Pacific Division teams are separated by just a single point in the standings.

"It's nice (to be in first place in the division)," Cheechoo said. "Our goal is to get as many points as we can and finish as high as we can this year. We just have to come out in our next games after the break and continue what we've started here."

While San Jose is returning to form, St. Louis is headed in the opposite direction after losing its seventh straight contest.

After a scoreless first period, Michalek opened the scoring at 6:57 of the second session.

The Sharks' left wing fanned three times from in close before he tapped his own muffed shot from mid-air in the crease past frustrated Blues goaltender Manny Legace's stick to break a scoreless tie.

"I missed the first shot, and I got the second shot on my backhand and was lucky to poke it in," Michalek said. "I was lucky it bounced back to me, and it stayed on my stick. I was just lucky it didn't bounce somewhere else and stayed on my stick."

San Jose doubled its lead on a third-period power play. Thornton's slap shot from the left circle went through the crease and found Cheechoo, who poked it past Legace's stick just over three minutes into the session to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead.

"(Cheechoo's) been looking really, really good lately," Thornton said. "He's been skating really well and he's been strong. He's back healthy. He's getting back to the scoring areas. It's just a matter of time until a guy like that explodes."

The Sharks extended their lead nearly five minutes later when Patrick Marleau's centering feed to Steve Bernier in the slot was one-timed past Tomas Plihal's screen over Legace's stick.

However, the Blues did not go quietly, narrowing the lead to 3-1 at 10:45 of the third period.

After Patrick Rissmiller was whistled for a high stick, Andy McDonald fed a cross-ice pass to Brad Boyes, who ripped a one-timer past Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for the power-play goal. Boyes is now second in the Western Conference with 29 goals.

Despite the late goal, St. Louis coach Andy Murray was disappointed with his team's play in the third period.

"It was a close game, and then we took an unnecessary penalty, put them on the power play and they capitalized," Murray said.

San Jose sealed the win less than five minutes later as Thornton booked his NHL-leading 45th assist of the season when Cheechoo knocked in his centering pass to hand.

"It's crunch time," Blues veteran Keith Tkachuk said. "We've got to approach every game as a 'must-win.' We're falling behind. We are still within reach, but we've got to get points."

Paul Kariya echoed Tkachuk's comments.

"We haven't played well," Kariya said. "But we hope the break will give us some energy so we can get back to playing our game."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 1 1
    SAN JOSE 0 1 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 17 (JOE THORNTON, MATTHEW CARLE) 6:57
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 8 (MILAN MICHALEK, JOE
    THORNTON) 3:19
    SAN - STEVE BERNIER 13 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CRAIG RIVET) 8:05
    STL - BR

    Jan 25 1:00 AM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    SAN JOSE 4
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 9 (MILAN MICHALEK, JOE THORNTON)
    14:19

    Blues vs. SharksJan 25 12:49 AM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 1
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: STL - BRAD BOYES 29 (ANDY MCDONALD, PAUL KARIYA) 10:45

    Blues vs. SharksJan 25 12:41 AM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: SAN - STEVE BERNIER 13 (PATRICK MARLEAU, CRAIG RIVET) 8:05

    Blues vs. SharksJan 25 12:35 AM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 8 (MILAN MICHALEK, JOE THORNTON)
    3:19

    Blues vs. SharksJan 25 12:25 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0 0
    SAN JOSE 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 17 (JOE THORNTON, MATTHEW CARLE) 6:57
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 5 7 12
    SAN 3 13 16
    GOALIES: STL -

    Jan 25 12:01 AM


  • NHL
    ST LOUIS 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - MILAN MICHALEK 17 (JOE THORNTON, MATTHEW CARLE) 6:57

    Blues vs. SharksJan 24 11:42 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ST LOUIS 0 0
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    STL 5 5
    SAN 3 3
    GOALIES: STL - MANNY LEGACE
    SAN - EVGENI NABOKOV

    Jan 24 11:09 PM
  • 5
    roots
    noble1557 Added 5 roots

    Blues vs. SharksJan 22 7:58 PM