SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Alyn McCauley scored a career-high three goals, and Jonathan Cheechoo added two to help the San Jose Sharks snap a seven-game winless streak with a 6-2 victory Saturday night over the Florida Panthers.
Brad Stuart also scored for the Sharks, who hadn't won since
beating Minnesota on Oct. 12.
Evgeni Nabokov made 27 saves in winning for the first time in
his last 16 starts, a streak dating to last season.
Steve Shields made his second consecutive start in goal for
Florida, but he struggled against his former team. Shields, who
played for San Jose from 1998-2001, finished with 14 saves. He gave
up three goals on nine shots in the first period and his misplay
behind the net in the second gave San Jose its fifth goal.
Shields hesitated as he went to play the puck, and Scott
Thornton took it away from him and fed Cheechoo, who scored into an
open net for the first of his two goals.
McCauley, acquired from Toronto in March for four-time All-Star
Owen Nolan, had never scored more than one goal in any of his
previous 330 NHL games.
He completed his hat trick when he took Marco Sturm's pass from
behind the net and beat Shields with a quick shot from the slot.
McCauley opened the scoring at 2:07 when he one-timed Sturm's
pass from the corner and beat Shields to the glove side.
McCauley's second goal came when he tipped Kyle McLaren's slap
shot from the point.
Panthers RW Valeri Bure, who practiced Friday, missed his
11th consecutive game because of a groin injury. ... Sharks C
Vincent Damphousse's first-period assist helped him tie Bobby Hull
for 39th place on the NHL's career scoring list with 1,170 points.
... Florida C Byron Ritchie injured his knee in the first period
and didn't return. ... The Panthers, who won at Ottawa in their
previous game, haven't followed a road victory with a home victory
since March 2001.