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Cracknell gets 1st hat trick, Stars beat reeling Sharks
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DALLAS (AP) — Adam Cracknell got his first hat trick in seven NHL seasons and the Dallas Stars handed the San Jose Sharks their fifth straight loss, 6-1 on Friday night.
Cracknell opened the scoring in the first period, capped a three-goal flurry in the second and beat goalie Aaron Dell on a short-handed breakaway in the third for his career-high 10th goal of the season.
The Sharks entered two points ahead of Anaheim and Edmonton in the Pacific Division despite their longest losing streak of the season. San Jose has been outscored 16-5 during the stretch.
Brett Ritchie, Jamie Benn and John Klingberg also scored for the Stars.
Joe Thornton scored for San Jose on the power play in the second period. Dell had 23 saves.
Dallas’ Kari Lehtonen made 20 saves four nights after shutting out San Jose.
Jason Spezza had three assists for the Stars. Curtis McKenzie and Remi Elie had two apiece.
Cracknell scored his first goal 8:30 into the game. He carried the puck from the left corner almost to the goal. He lost control of the puck, but it went off the skate of San Jose’s Micheal Haley and between Dell’s legs.
At 7:08 of the second, Cracknell took a centering pass from Spezza in the slot to beat Dell.
The third goal came at 4:59 of the third period. Cracknell has had only one other game with multiple goals, on April 4, 2013, at Chicago for the St. Louis Blues.
Three 20-plus-goal scorers were thwarted during the first period.
The Stars’ Tyler Seguin sent a close-range rebound of his own shot into Dell’s pads, and the goalie turned away Benn’s backhand on a breakaway.
San Jose’s Patrick Marleau went in on Lehtonen 1-on-1, but defenseman Greg Pateryn rode the veteran to the right of the net without a shot.
The game opened up in the second, with Ritchie, Benn and Cracknell scoring in the first 7:08 for a 4-0 lead.
San Jose’s second power play lasted just six seconds. Brent Burns’ shot from the top of the left faceoff circle went under Lehtonen. Thornton reached his stick in to tap the puck into the net at 7:57.
NOTES: Cracknell was playing in his 195th career game. The multiple-point game was his first since he had a goal and an assist in his first game this season on Oct. 13 against Anaheim. ... Spezza had missed the previous two games because of back spasms but played Friday because RW Jiri Hudler and D Dan Hamhuis were out with lower-body injuries. ... Tyler Seguin had an assist in his 500th game, the most of any player drafted in 2010. ... Dell brought a 1.85 goals against average and .937 save percentage into the game. ... Sharks D Justin Braun blocked two shots during the last minute of the first period, giving him a career-high 148 blocks this season.
Sharks: Finish a four-game trip on Saturday at Nashville.
Stars: Begin their final road trip (five games in nine days) at New Jersey on Sunday.