San Jose at Atlanta

Sharks roll over Thrashers as Cheechoo scores three times


ATLANTA -- The San Jose Sharks' potent line of Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and Joe Thornton overpowered the Atlanta Thrashers.

Cheechoo scored three goals, Michalek had one and set up two others, and Thornton had three assists in the Sharks' 5-1 victory Thursday that ended the Thrashers' franchise-record, home-winning streak at seven.

"I bring speed, Joe brings the pass and Jonathan is the shooter," said Michalek, who has 23 goals, including four in his last three games, and a total of 60 points.

"My linemates were doing a great job. I like the way our line is made up right now," Cheechoo said.

Atlanta coach Bob Hartley was also impressed.

"Thornton, Cheechoo and the bunch gave us quite a display of hockey," he said. "We knew how dominant they could be, but at the same time, we just didn't give ourselves a chance to win."

It was the only game between the teams this season.

"We don't get a chance to play all the Eastern teams, but I know the top five or six teams in the West are big, fast and physical and it seems a lot of the Eastern teams struggle with that," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.

"They dominated us," Atlanta forward Keith Tkachuk said. "That's the bottom line. They were too talented, too big and too fast."

San Jose, which has won seven of eight, also got a goal from Bill Guerin, his 34th, for a 4-1 lead that ended the night for beleaguered goalie Kari Lehtonen with 5:31 remaining in the second period. San Jose peppered him with 23 shots.

Cheechoo made it 5-1 with 2:46 left in the period, beating Atlanta backup Johan Hedberg for his 30th goal and 61st point. It was his second hat trick of the season and seventh of his career.

Atlanta, which had won eight of 10, took a 1-0 lead on Pascal Dupuis' goal at 7:53 of the first period against Vesa Toskala.

San Jose grabbed the lead later in the period on goals by Cheechoo and Michalek. Thornton, the NHL scoring champion last season, assisted on both. He has 102 points this season, the third time he has gone over the century mark, and is second to Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby.

Cheechoo scored his second goal 12 minutes into the second period for a 3-1 lead. Thornton and Michalek drew assists.

San Jose, second in the Pacific Division, has the fifth best record in the Pacific Division, and is a virtual lock for a Western Conference playoff spot with seven games remaining.

The Thrashers, who are in good shape to make the playoffs for the first time in their seven-year history, lead the Southeast Division and are third in the Eastern Conference with seven games left.


  • Michalek has four goals in three games and 14 points in the last six.
  • Thornton has 20 points in nine games.
  • The first penalties of the game came with 5:25 left in the second period when Atlanta's Jon Sim and San Jose's Mark Bell fought. Sim injured an orbital bone and didn't return.
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Jonathan Cheechoo forces his position in front to put the puck past Kari Lehtonen. (AP)
Jonathan Cheechoo forces his position in front to put the puck past Kari Lehtonen. (AP)
San Jose  (45-25-4) «2305
Atlanta (39-26-10)1001
Three Stars
J. Cheechoo

Goals: 3
Assist(s): 1
J. Thornton

Goals: 0
Assist(s): 3
P. Dupuis

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
07:53Pascal Dupuis (13), Snap Shot - Assists: Bobby Holik, Jim Slater
13:10Jonathan Cheechoo (28), Wrist Shot - Assists: Joe Thornton, Milan Michalek
19:02Milan Michalek (23), Wrist Shot - Assists: Jonathan Cheechoo, Joe Thornton
11:56Jonathan Cheechoo (29), Wrist Shot - Assists: Joe Thornton, Milan Michalek
14:29Bill Guerin (34), Snap Shot - Assists: Mark Bell, Patrick Marleau
17:14Jonathan Cheechoo (30), Snap Shot - Assist: Christian Ehrhoff
Penalty Summary
14:35Bell: Fighting - 5 min.
14:35Sim: Fighting - 5 min.
14:57Michalek: High sticking - 2 min.
17:42Hedberg: Delay of Game - 2 min.
San Jose1213732
Vesa Toskala60:00181
Johan Hedberg25:3181
Kari Lehtonen34:29194
Game Information
Attendance - 16367
Referees - Kerry Fraser, Chris Lee
Linesmen - Pierre Champoux, Michel Cormier
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