Takeaways: the Sharks need to give Jones more help

DALLAS — On a night where Joe Thornton reached a major milestone, the Dallas Stars played the role of party poopers, blowing out all 1,500 of the candles on his cake.

Thornton, 39, became the 19th player to reach the 1,500 game plateau Thursday, a list led by Gordie Howe (1,767), Mark Messier (1,756) and Jaromir Jagr (1733). Among active players, only Patrick Marleau (1,590), Thornton’s teammate for 12 years, has played more games. The Stars honored Thornton by showing a video montage of his highlights on the cube and he received a standing ovation from the visiting crowd, showing just how well-respected he is across the league.

Unfortunately, the Sharks failed to get Thornton a win, dropping a 4-3 decision in a pond-hockey game with the high-flying Stars.

Here’s what we learned as the Sharks (8-5-3) lost just their second regulation game in 10 tries in the Lone Star State:

1. Oh so close for Joe.

Hairs stood up on necks across Sharks territory Thursday as Thornton skated in all alone on Stars netminder Anton Khudobin with a chance to tie the game and just 1:02 left on the clock.

What better way to celebrate game No. 1,500 than to tie it up by scoring goal No. 400 with the extra attacker on the ice? But Khudobin closed the book on the near-fairytale ending by squeezing his pads together as Thornton tried to slip the puck through his legs.

“Oh man,” Thornton said. “I dialed in five hole the whole way. I’d like to have it back, but you can’t.”

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Earlier in the game, the Sharks climbed out of a 3-1 hole off Joe Pavelski’s seventh goal and Evander Kane’s first tally in 12 games. But a blocked …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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