Sports

Roenick scores twice to help San Jose win

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Jeremy Roenick has something to celebrate on this trip to Vancouver instead of sulking about not playing.

Roenick made headlines last season for leaving the rink after being told he was a healthy scratch and watching his Phoenix Coyotes teammates play the Vancouver Canucks from a nearby steakhouse and bar.

Back in Vancouver with the San Jose Sharks on Friday night, Roenick made news on the ice, scoring his the 496th and 497th career goals to lift the Sharks to a 3-1 victory over the Canucks.

"I don't know, that steak at the Keg was really good. They serve a really good steak, there's no question about that," Roenick said with a smile when asked if he enjoyed this year's trip more. "But I'll take the two goals instead."

Evgeni Nabokov had 22 saves for the Sharks, who lost a shootout in Edmonton the previous night and arrived late in Vancouver, but still got off to a strong start to spoil the Canucks' season opener.

Joe Thornton opened the scoring 5:30 in by turning a 2-on-1 into a breakaway shot that trickled through Roberto Luongo. Roenick then moved up the list of American goal-scorers with two goals before the period ended, giving the Sharks a 3-0 lead they didn't relinquish.

"We kind of answered the bell. Last night we laid a bit of an egg in Edmonton and tonight the guys responded in the first period," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "A great play by Joe Thornton and then JR was Johnny on the spot and went to the net and was rewarded."

Roenick banged in a rebound for his first goal at 11:48 of the first period. Vancouver had just finished killing off a 4-minute penalty when the 37-year-old Boston native added his 497th career goal on a deflection from the slot 3½ minutes later.

"JR is taking everyone to the Keg for steak dinner," Wilson announced with a laugh.

Now, in his 19th NHL season, Roenick is only three goals away from becoming just the third American-born player to score 500, and five goals shy of matching Joe Mullen (502) for second place behind leader Mike Modano (507) of the Dallas Stars.

HURRICANES 4, PENGUINS 1, at Raleigh, N.C. -- Eric Staal scored two first-period goals, and Carolina spoiled Pittsburgh's season opener. Sidney Crosby, the reigning league MVP and youngest player to wear the captain's "C" in league history at 20 years old, was held with no goals or assists.

BLUE JACKETS 4, DUCKS 0, at Columbus, Ohio -- Rick Nash had two goals and a career-best four points, and Pascal Leclaire stopped 28 shots to help Columbus shut out defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim.

ISLANDERS 6, SABRES 4, at Buffalo, N.Y. -- Mike Comrie scored twice and had two assists in his debut for New York, which beat Buffalo and won its season opener for the first time since 2001.

STARS 4, BRUINS 1, at Dallas -- Mike Modano assisted on a goal from Brenden Morrow for his 1,227th career point, five shy of matching Phil Housley for the most by an American-born player, in Dallas' win over Boston.

CAPITALS 3, THRASHERS 1, at Atlanta -- Michael Nylander and John Erskine scored two goals in a 2-minute span in the first period, and Viktor Kozlov added a goal in the third to help Washington beat Atlanta in the season opener for both teams.

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