The one-time Rocket Richard winner with 56 goals in 2005-06 who subsequently slipped to 36 and 23 goals since, reverted to his goal-scoring title form Thursday night by scoring two in the opener to lead the Sharks to a 4-1 win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Cheechoo scored his first at 2:32 to break a scoreless tie. His second came just 4:12 later on the power play. Cheechoo battled hard in front of the Anaheim net to score the power-play goal to make it 2-0 during a period in which San Jose outshot Anaheim 21-3. "It's nice to see Cheechoo rewarded," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "He was a little bit snake bit in the exhibition season and, as a coach, you are a little concerned." Cheechoo finished with four shots on goal during 17:08 of ice time.
The 28-year-old fourth-year forward, claimed off waivers by the Leafs last January from Minnesota, was a bright spot in the preseason and continued his recent play right into Toronto's opener Thursday night. All over the ice, Moore found a way onto the score sheet, too, by scoring the Maple Leafs' second goal of the game, an even-strength tally at 15:04 of the second period to give the visitors a 2-0 lead they would never relinquish. Moore, a plus-2, put a team-high five shots on goal and blocked one of Detroit's drives as the underdog Maple Leafs took two points from the defending Stanley Cup champions.
No. 3 star: Ceremony organizer, Detroit Red Wings
We'd love to have the name of the person in charge of the banner-raising ceremony at Joe Louis Arena, because he or she definitely deserves kudos for a number of appropriate and special touches. For starters, the Stanley Cup headlined eight trophies on display won by the Red Wings last season – Presidents' Trophy, Campbell Bowl (conference title), Conn Smythe (Henrik Zetterberg), Norris Trophy (Nicklas Lidstrom), Selke Trophy (Pavel Datsyuk), Lady Byng (Datsyuk) and Jennings Trophy (Chris Osgood, Dominik Hasek). And fans attending the game were given small replica championship banners at the door. But the really special moment was when a number of Red Wing legends, led by Gordie Howe, carried the 2007-08 Stanley Cup banner through the Zamboni entrance and handed it off to a few current Red Wings players on their way to the rafters.