SAN JOSE, Calif. - Dany Heatley assisted on two goals in his first game against Ottawa since his blockbuster trade to San Jose, leading the Sharks to a 5-2 victory over the Senators on Tuesday night.
Patrick Marleau scored on both of Heatley's assists, passing him for the team lead with 19 goals. Jamie McGinn, Ryane Clowe and Manny Malhotra also scored for San Jose, while Joe Thornton had two assists to up his league-leading total to 32. Backup goalie Thomas Greiss made 25 saves.
The night worked out almost perfectly for Sharks fans, who got to cheer their newest star as he helped lead the team to a win in the first home game since a 7-2 loss to Chicago last week. They also got to honour two of the fan favourites who were dealt to Ottawa for Heatley in September.
Milan Michalek was cheered after scoring both goals for the Senators, while Jonathan Cheechoo got a warm ovation when his picture was shown on the video board early in the first period. And he heard the train whistles when he touched the puck that were traditional when he played here.
Heatley surely will get a different reaction the first time he goes back to Ottawa. He was vilified in Canada this summer, first for demanding a trade from Ottawa and then for turning down a potential deal to Edmonton. He finally was dealt to the Sharks on the eve of training camp.
He has been a welcome addition on Thornton's line in San Jose, scoring 18 goals to help the Sharks break out to the best record in the league heading into this hyped matchup against his former team.
Heatley came out energized, putting six shots on goal in the first period and setting up the first goal of the game. Heatley made a good effort to keep the puck in at the blue-line, getting it to Thornton, who fed Marleau for the opening score.
Heatley assisted on another goal by Marleau in the second period when his backhand shot was deflected onto the stick of Marleau, who beat Brian Elliott to make it 3-1 just four seconds after Matt Carkner came out of the box for a delay of game penalty.
Michalek also came out with a little extra pep in his step, scoring on a backhander in the first period and converting with a one-timer off a feed from Daniel Alfredsson on the power play in the second to cut San Jose's lead to 4-2. That was just the third power-play goal allowed in 11 home games this season by the Sharks.
NOTES: Elliott made 28 saves. ... Half of the 24 shots in the first period were taken by the three players from the deal, with Heatley having six, Michalek four and Cheechoo two. ... Senators D Anton Volchenkov returned to the ice for the first time since dislocating his right elbow on Oct. 28. ... Marleau played in his 900th career game.