Cracknell's hat trick help Stars rout Sharks
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[March 25, 2017]
DALLAS -- Heading into this
season, Adam Cracknell had scored 11 career goals across parts of
his seven previous NHL seasons with four different teams.
However, thanks to his first career hat trick that adds to his
career-high total of 10 goals this year, Cracknell and Kari
Lehtonen, who made 20 saves, led the Dallas Stars to a 6-1 win over
the San Jose Sharks on Friday night at American Airlines Center.
Cracknell scored in the first, second and third periods. His final
goal came 4:59 into the third when he scored with Dallas
short-handed, intercepting an attempted clearance by Aaron Dell, who
made 23 saves, just beyond the Sharks' blue line. Cracknell then
beat Dell with a wrist shot from the slot.
"I was trying not to think about it," Cracknell said of the hat
trick. "It's like trying a pitch a perfect game, and everybody keeps
bringing it up. To see the guys excited as they are, it's just a
great feeling to walk in the room. They know I don't score that many
goals. I guess to get that reaction from my teammates meant the
Brett Ritchie, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg also scored for Dallas
(30-33-11), which got three assists from Jason Spezza and two each
from Remi Elie and Curtis McKenzie.
The Stars defeated the Sharks at home for the second time this week,
also edging San Jose 1-0 on Monday.
"Yeah, just one of those games," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said.
"You have a handful of those a year where nothing goes right and
nobody's got any kind of legs or energy. It was one of those nights.
I don't have any explanation for it."
Joe Thornton scored the goal for San Jose (42-25-7), which lost a
fifth consecutive game. The Sharks have been outscored 16-5 during
this current skid and are 0-3-0 on their current road trip.
"Yeah, sometimes they're going in, sometimes they're not," Sharks
center Joe Pavelski said. "Some teams are doing a good job of taking
some of our plays away, but it's on us as players. You got to win
some battles, you got to create some energy, some speed throughout
the team. It's hasn't been one guy. It's been all of us."
Klingberg made it 6-1 with his 12th goal of the season just 21
seconds after Cracknell completed the hat trick, triggering a flurry
of hats flying onto the ice, delaying the game briefly.
Cracknell gave Dallas an early lead 8:30 into the game. As Cracknell
skated toward the visiting goal with the puck, it deflected off the
right skate of Micheal Haley and through Dell's five-hole to make it
Ritchie doubled the Dallas lead with his 14th goal of the season
1:58 into the second period. Tyler Seguin, appearing in his 500th
career game, assisted with a cross-ice pass, which Ritchie one-timed
in at the near post.
[to top of second column]
Stars right wing Adam Cracknell (27) throws a puck to the crowd
after the win over the San Jose Sharks at the American Airlines
Center. Cracknell scores his first career NHL hat trick. The Stars
defeat the Sharks 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY
After Dell denied Seguin's one-timer from the slot
5:16 into the second period, Benn put Dallas ahead 3-0 with his 25th
goal of the season. Cody Eakin won the faceoff in the left circle
against Pavelski, sending the puck to Ales Hemsky, who spotted Benn
open at the near post. Benn then knocked in Hemsky's pass.
Cracknell added a second score, his ninth goal of the season, 7:08
into the second period. Spezza, who was returning from a two-game
absence with back spasms, picked up his second assist of the game.
San Jose ended the shutout 49 seconds later when Thornton scored his
seventh goal of the season off a rebound with the Sharks on the
power play. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the slot, which
rang off the left post. Thornton then collected and slipped in the
rebound six seconds into the power play.
Dallas led 4-1 at the second intermission.
"It's nice to get rewarded. We've had a couple games where I've had
to stand and talk about missed opportunities and execution, and it's
been a pretty common theme," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said.
"(Thursday) night was the same, but (Friday) we made a lot of real
nice plays on the goals."
San Jose lost defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to injury early in the
second period, but DeBoer didn't have any update on Vlasic's status
NOTES: The Sharks scratched D Dylan DeMelo, C Melker Karlsson and RW
Tino Meier. ... The Stars scratched D Dan Hamhuis (lower body), RW
Jiri Hudler (lower body) and LW Antoine Roussel (hand). ... Sharks
RW Jannik Hansen returned after missing the previous two games with
an upper-body injury. ... Dallas begins a five-game Eastern
Conference road trip on Monday at New Jersey. ... San Jose finishes
its road trip on Saturday at Colorado.
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