Tonight certainly wasn’t the performance Joe Thornton was looking for in front of his former club.
During warm-ups in TD Garden, Jamie Baker asked Jumbo if it’d be cool to hit his next milestone — entering the top 20 all-time points leaders of the NHL — in Boston, the city that drafted him. “As long as we win,” Thornton said. “That’s all that matters at this point in my career.”
Hopefully that milestone is at least a decent consolation prize.
The Bruins took the first penalty almost halfway into the first period. The Sharks had a handful of shots prior to the penalty and had an excellent opportunity to set the tone for the game. Unfortunately, they let in a short-handed goal from Danton Heinen, thanks to an unfortunate play from Kevin Labanc.
They maintained some pressure in the Bruins’ end, but still came up short. Pete DeBoer threw the already scrambled line combinations into the blender, shifting Labanc down to the fourth line.
Just over halfway through the second period, Joe Thornton netted this beauty, his second of the year and first on a goaltender.
With 1398 career points, Thornton is now tied with Jari Kurri for 20th all-time points leaders in the NHL.
Just a few minutes later, though, Heinen scored his second of the night and once again, the Sharks were playing from behind going into the intermission.
According to Natural Stat Trick, the Bruins racked up seven scoring chances to the Sharks' four at 5v5 during the third period. The eye test agreed, as Martin Jones did very well to save a handful of point blank shots and/or one-timers from the slot to keep the difference at just one goal.
The Bruins may have had their best chance on the power play when Jones was sprawled and left room between his left skate and the post, but the Bruins couldn't quite get all of the puck and it hit the outside of the net.
The Sharks had a few decent chances on their multiple power play opportunities in the third period. The second unit nearly tied things up when Tomas Hertl received a pass on the doorstep, but Anton Khudobin poked it away before Hertl could turn it into a shot.
With a few minutes left in the third, Khudobin appeared to intentionally knock the goal off its moorings — a should-be delay of game penalty — to no avail. Despite a desperate flurry during the 6-on-4 power play, the Sharks came away with another east coast loss.
Ultimately, the away team was unable to generate enough of a push to really threaten the Bruins' lead, narrowly losing the even-strength shot attempt battle 10-11.
The Sharks have just one more road game on this trip, facing the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday afternoon.