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Heatley wows in home opener
Winger records 8th career hat trick
10/8/09 - By Mike Lee -

If Thursday night’s home opener is any indication of how the Sharks top line will produce once they get used to playing with each other, the rest of the league may want to take notice. Dany Heatley, Joe Thornton and Devin Setoguchi combined for 4 goals and 6 assists, including a hat trick by Heatley on Thursday night. The new Sharks left winger completed his trifecta by converting a penalty shot to cap a 6-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at HP Pavilion.

Heatley scored a pair of goals in a wild 2nd period, that had the Sharks overcome an early Blue Jackets lead, including a pretty breakaway with 11.5 seconds left in the frame.

“It was a great night,” an upbeat Heatley said after the game. “The crowd was great right from the introductions. They had us going. As a group, we played real well. We skated well and fore-checked well, so we were rewarded for it.”

It didn’t look like anyone in teal was going to be rewarded early in the game. San Jose struggled to generate any tempo in the opening period, and it would be Columbus that would strike first.

Rick Nash converted at 12:08 collecting a rebound at the top of the crease, after the Sharks lost track of the puck as a scrum formed in front of the san Jose net. Nash finished off the play by cutting across the slot from left to right before beating an outstretched Evgeni Nabokov for the early 1-0 lead.

“Our execution was poor,” said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. “We couldn’t complete two passes in a row, but as the night progressed I thought we took it over. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, I think that’s evident but I’m happy with the win.”

The middle period would prove to be more fruitful for San Jose .

Dan Boyle tied it up with a wrist shot from the right dot at 2:35 of the 2nd period. Boyle made a little shake-and-bake move around Nash at center ice before carrying the puck into the Columbus zone and snapping home his first of the year.

Heatley would introduce himself to the San Jose faithful by scoring his first goal on home ice two minutes later. He would grab a loose puck behind the Columbus goal, before navigating around the right post and lifting a shot over Columbus netminder Steve Mason.

Ryane Clowe and Mike Blunden dropped the gloves in a spirited fight midway through the period, with Blunden absorbing most of the punches distributed by the pair. That would be followed shortly thereafter by an undercard bout between Derek Dorsett and Frazer McLaren.

Setoguchi missed on a golden chance with 9:40 left in the period when his 15 foot one-timer from the slot deflected off the crossbar.

Jason Chimera tied things up at 11:14 with an uncontested slap shot from the top of the left circle. The left wing found himself all alone after Boyle tried pinching at his blueline to intercept a pass and missed.

Patrick Marleau missed on a chance after taking a centering feed at the Blue Jackets blueline and splitting two defenders, before cutting to his left and lifting a shot just wide of the net. Even though Marleau missed, it was an indication that the Sharks speed was going to be an issue for the Columbus defense.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic put the Sharks back on top with 1:55 remaining in the period by sending a shot from the left wing glass that caught the inside of the right post.

Heatley would push the lead to two goals riht before the 2nd intermission by taking a 60 foot feed from Boyle, then racing up the left side and snapping the puck to the near side just under Mason’s glove.

Setoguchi pushed the lead to three goals 1:34 into the 3rd period with a short one-timer from the right side. Joe Thorton setup the goal with a feed from behind the Blue Jacket net as Setoguchi was heading toward the net from the right wing boards. Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock would pull Mason at that point in favor of Mathieu Garon.

Raffi Torres would convert on a Rob Blake tripping penalty moments later. Nabokov made the first save on a Torres shot from the slot, but a big rebound would bounce right back to the Columbus forward for the put back.

“We were playing well and we really had a good first period," Hitcock said. "We really played well. The game was half way through and then we just got beat. We got beat on two or three goals and we got beat down low. Their best players were their best players in the second half of the game.” Heatley completed the hat trick at 7:08 of the period on a penalty shot conversion after getting tripped up on a breakaway chance. The sellout crowd urged him to bag a 4th the next time he stepped on the ice by chanting his name.

“They were a very dangerous line tonight,” McLellan said. “I thought they got better as the night went on. That’s just a sign of them starting to click. The goals and assists were nice… The fact that they played fast and they were in the right area of the rink is what impressed me the most.”

Game Notes:

Former centerman Jeremy Roenick was in attendance, as a guest of the Sharks. He received a standing ovation from the 17,562 in the 1st period after he was shown on the video scoreboard. The new attendance capacity was increased by 70 seats during the off-season. The Sharks unveiled three banners in the rafters before the game. A “Pacific Division Champions”, “Western Conference Regular Season Champions”, and “Presidents Trophy” banner now hang along side the three Pacific Division Championship banners that hang in the south end of the rink.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
CBJ 1 1 1 3
SJ 0 4 2 6
1st period - 1, CBJ, Nash 1 (Huselius, Vermette), 12:08.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Boyle 1 (Thornton, Murray), 2:35. 3, SJ, Heatley 2 (Setoguchi, Thornton), 5:40. 4, CBJ, Chimera 1 (Roy, Hejda), 11:14. 5, SJ, Vlasic 1 (Boyle, Thornton), 18:05. 6, Heatley 3 (Boyle), 19:48.
3rd period - 7, SJ, Setoguchi 4 (Thornton, Heatley), 1:34. 8, CBJ, Torres 2 (Tyutin, Nash), 3:45, (pp). 9, SJ, Heatley 4 (penalty shot), 7:08 (ps).
Penalties
1st period - Klesla, CBJ (tripping), 0:36; Heatley, SJ (hooking), 1:41; Bench, CBJ (too many men), 4:08; Methot, CBJ (cross checking), 13:33.
2nd period - Dorsett, CBJ (roughing), 2:06; Clowe, SJ (roughing), 2:06; Blunden, CBJ (fighting major), 8:51; Clowe, SJ (fighting major), 8:51; Dorsett, CBJ (fighting major), 9:16; McLaren, SJ (fighting major), 9:16; Umberger, CBJ (roughing), 14:10; Malhotra, SJ (cross checking), 14:10.
3rd period - Blake, SJ (tripping), 3:39; Torres, CBJ (hooking), 9:37.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CBJ - Mason 20 15
CBJ - Garon 8 7
SJ - Nabokov 27 24
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CBJ 11 9 7 27
SJ 8 11 9 28
Power Play Conversion
CBJ 1 of 3
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Dany Heatley
Joe Thornton
Dan Boyle
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Joannette, Sutherland. Linesmen: Cvik, Heyer.

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