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Cheechoo, Nabokov propel Sharks past Ducks

Oct 10, 2008 - 6:20 AM By Michael Duca PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Jonathan Cheechoo scored two goals and Evgeni Nabokov made 26 saves as the San Jose Sharks opened the regular season with a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

Defenseman Rob Blake and Milan Michalek each registered two assists for the Sharks, who made Todd McLellan's NHL coaching debut a successful one. McLellan became the third coach in franchise history to win his first game behind the bench, joining Jim Wiley (December 2, 1996) and Ron Wilson (December 6, 2002).

"It's not a 'me' win, it's a 'we' win," McLellan said. "I was proud of our staff. I thought we were prepared for tonight. I don't know what a perfect game might be, but we played pretty well tonight."

After a scoreless first period, Cheechoo grabbed the rebound of defenseman Dan Boyle's shot while on the doorstep and tapped it past goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 2:32 of the second to open the scoring.

"We are getting more shots from the point (than last season)," Cheechoo said. "Guys were getting pucks through, for tonight anyway. It makes you want to go to the net more when you know the shots are going to come."

Coming off a disappointing campaign in which the former Maurice Richard Trophy winner recorded just 37 points, Cheechoo struck again during a power play 4:12 later to double the lead.

"It's nice to get two goals early (in the season)," Cheechoo said. "Anytime you can contribute to a win, it makes it more meaningful."

Over the first nine minutes of the middle session, the Sharks outshot the Ducks, 13-0.

"It takes three periods to complete a hockey game," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "And we weren't very good after the first period, for whatever reason. We started turning the puck over. We must have turned it over close to 10 times in the first five minutes of the second period.

"It seemed like they got another gear going and we stood around and watched and started to play the game on our back end. Then they come at us in waves and we started to take penalties."

Defenseman Christian Ehrhoff scored a man-advantage goal 2:52 into the third and Devin Setoguchi tallied with 4:03 remaining to cap the scoring for San Jose, which improved to 4-9-4 in season openers.

A finalist for the Vezina Trophy last season, Nabokov kept the Ducks off the scoreboard until captain Scott Niedermayer drew his team within 3-1 with 5:25 to go.

"I played against (Nabokov) for many years, and it's always been a struggle," Blake said. "So it's nice to have him behind me for a change. He gives you confidence. We had a couple of breakdowns, they scored, and he shut them right down after that and calmed the whole bench down."

Giguere, who finished second in the NHL in goals-against average (2.12), third in save percentage (.922) and tied for seventh in wins (35) last season, turned aside 37 shots.

The meeting was the first between the teams since March 28, when the Sharks clinched the Pacific Division title with a 3-1 victory at the Honda Center in Anaheim.








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0 1 1
    SAN JOSE 0 2 2 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 1 (DAN BOYLE, MILAN MICHALEK) 2:32
    SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 2 (JOE THORNTON, ROB BLAKE)
    6:44
    3RD PRD: SAN - CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF 1 (MILAN MICHALEK, DEVIN SETOGUCHI)
    2:52
    ANA -

    Oct 10 1:03 AM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    SAN JOSE 4
    3RD PRD: SAN - DEVIN SETOGUCHI 1 (PATRICK MARLEAU, ROB BLAKE) 15:57

    Ducks 1, Sharks 4  3rd - 4:03Oct 10 12:56 AM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 1
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: ANA - ROB NIEDERMAYER 1 (STEVE MONTADOR, CHRIS PRONGER) 14:35

    Ducks 1, Sharks 3  3rd - 5:25Oct 10 12:53 AM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    SAN JOSE 3
    3RD PRD: SAN - CHRISTIAN EHRHOFF 1 (MILAN MICHALEK, DEVIN SETOGUCHI)
    2:52

    Ducks 0, Sharks 3  3rd - 17:08Oct 10 12:30 AM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0 0
    SAN JOSE 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 1 (DAN BOYLE, MILAN MICHALEK) 2:32
    SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 2 (JOE THORNTON, ROB BLAKE)
    6:44
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA

    Oct 10 12:09 AM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    SAN JOSE 2
    2ND PRD: SAN - (PP) JONATHAN CHEECHOO 2 (JOE THORNTON, ROB BLAKE) 6:44

    Ducks 0, Sharks 2  2nd - 13:16Oct 9 11:44 PM


  • NHL
    ANAHEIM 0
    SAN JOSE 1
    2ND PRD: SAN - JONATHAN CHEECHOO 1 (DAN BOYLE, MILAN MICHALEK) 2:32

    Ducks 0, Sharks 1  2nd - 17:28Oct 9 11:38 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANAHEIM 0 0
    SAN JOSE 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    ANA 10 10
    SAN 8 8
    GOALIES: ANA - JEAN-SEBASTIEN GIGUERE
    SAN - EVGENI NABOKOV

    Oct 9 11:17 PM