SAN JOSE, Calif. (ESPN.com news services) -- Milan Michalek scored a hat trick to
lead San Jose to a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks in the
Sharks' home preseason opener Thursday night.
Michalek's third goal broke a 3-3 tie with just over 2 minutes
left after the Canucks had rallied from a 3-0 deficit.
He tallied his first goal when he put a backhander past goalie
Roberto Luongo. It came on a power play in the first 90 seconds of
the game. Michalek then scored his second goal with 10 minutes
remaining in the second period.
Jonathan Cheechoo, who led the NHL in goals last season, added
his first of the preseason on a power play.
The Sharks (2-1) were leading 3-0 when Vancouver (0-2) mounted a
comeback. Jannick Hansen tallied Vancouver's first goal with just
12 seconds left in the second period.
Daniel Sedin and his identical twin, Henrik, proceeded to tie
the game on successive goals in the third period. Daniel's goal
came on a power play at 11:22 and Henrik's scored 2 minutes and 10
The Canucks have opened the preseason with two straight losses.
Luongo saved 11 of 13 shots. And, his replacement Wade Flaherty
finished going 2-for-22.
Evgeni Nabokov was in goal for the Sharks for the first of half
of the game and held Vancouver scoreless on 23 shots. His
replacement Nolan Schaefer gave up the Canucks three goals and
finished the game saving just seven of 10 shots.
Nabokov is in the middle of quite the goaltending battle -- within his own team. Nabokov is looking to regain the No. 1 spot, ahead of Vesa Toskala and Schaefer. With Nabokov battling various injuries last season, Toskala received more time in net and moved into the No. 1 spot late in the season.
"I don't pay attention what the rumors are," said Nabokov, who unlike the other two has a no-trade clause in his contract. "[Coach Doug Wilson] will do whatever he needs to do."
"We're going to do what's right for this team," Wilson told reporters after the game. "The goal is to win hockey games."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.