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San Jose 4, Anaheim 2

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Jonathan Cheechoo scored three goals for the first time in his career, including a successful penalty shot and a beautiful unassisted score 30 seconds apart in the third period of the San Jose Sharks' 4-2 victory over Anaheim on Tuesday night.

Cheechoo, who leads the Sharks with 16 goals, punctuated the Sharks' seventh victory in eight games since Joe Thornton's arrival with thrilling back-to-back goals against the Mighty Ducks.

Scott Parker also scored his first goal in two years for the Sharks, who avenged a 5-4 loss at Anaheim two nights earlier. Evgeni Nabokov stopped 33 shots for his fifth win in six starts.

Cheechoo got a penalty shot with 15:14 to play when Keith Carney took him down to prevent a short-handed breakaway chance. Cheechoo beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere to the glove side - and then beat him in nearly the same spot moments later, stealing the puck and flying past three Ducks to complete his first hat trick.

Thornton earned an assist on Cheechoo's first goal to extend his scoring streak to 14 games. He has three goals and 13 assists in eight games since joining the Sharks in a trade from Boston on Dec. 1, becoming the NHL's second-leading scorer with 49 points. 

But captain Patrick Marleau's scoring streak was snapped after 16 points in the previous seven games. Thornton's cousin, Scott, also lost his five-game scoring streak.

Cheechoo is among the biggest beneficiaries of Joe Thornton's talents. The third-year pro has scored nine goals in eight games on Thornton's line, including three multigoal games.

Petr Sykora and former Sharks star Teemu Selanne scored power-play goals for the Ducks, with Selanne getting his team-leading 17th goal in the closing minutes. Giguere stopped 14 shots, but was replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov shortly after Cheechoo's third goal.

Thornton's relentless pressure catalyzed San Jose's first score during a two-man advantage just 2:17 into the first period. Thornton found Tom Preissing alone for a slap shot, and Cheechoo easily tucked home the rebound.

San Jose went up 2-0 just 70 seconds later when Mark Smith drew two defenders and made an expert pass in front to Parker, who batted home his first goal since Dec. 10, 2003. The Sharks enforcer missed 30 of their first 31 games after getting hit in the face with a puck in the preseason.

Sykora added a 5-on-3 goal for the Ducks late in the first period. Defenseman Scott Niedermayer set up the score, earning the 500th point of his NHL career.

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