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Quick Bite: Sharks glide past Jets, Thornton gets assist No. 1000

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The Sharks defeated the Jets 3-2, but most importantly Thornton got assist No. 1000

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Winnipeg Jets Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks (39-19-7) completed their regular season sweep of the Winnipeg Jets (30-31-6) behind a 3-2 victory on Monday night, while Joe Thornton came away with career assist number 1000.

The game on Monday night marked the return of Joonas Donskoi to the Sharks’ lineup after missing 16 games with a lower-body injury. He took the place of Marcus Sorensen in the lineup, as he skated with Joel Ward and Tomas Hertl at the beginning of the game, while Melker Karlsson was moved up to the first line with Joe Pavelski and Thornton.

The Sharks jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a Pavelski goal from Karlsson and Brenden Dillon. Thornton missed out on notching his 1000th assist, as he had passed the puck to Dillon, who fed it to Karlsson, before Pavelski put the puck past Connor Hellebuyck with 10:15 left in the first.

Less than two minutes later, the Winnipeg Jets came back and got a puck past Aaron Dell, who started in the second half of the back-to-back, on a Joshua Morrissey shot from the point. The goal came after four separate attempts at clearing the puck out of the defensive zone, but the Sharks were unable to do so on any of their tries.

Micheal Haley and Chris Thorburn dropped the gloves and had a long, awkward hug for a minute. Shortly thereafter, Pavelski picked up a minor penalty for holding to give the Jets their first power play of the evening. San Jose prevented Winnipeg from getting a shot on goal, and the two teams went to the locker room with a 1-1 tie. Winnipeg led on the shot sheet 13-7.

The Sharks looked very poor defensively throughout the first period, with many failed clearance attempts and defensive zone turnovers, but Dell did a terrific job of limiting the damage.

With 17:59 left in the middle frame, Donskoi picked up a two-minute penalty for holding for the Sharks’ second penalty of the evening. Mid-way through the power play, Adam Lowry had some space in the middle of the Sharks zone, but Dell robbed him of a goal.

The Sharks received their first power play of the game with 13:15 left in the second period after Ward’s shot was blocked by Tobias Enstrom, but he hurt his hand on the block and proceeded to cover the puck with his hand when he hit the ice in pain. Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a shot ring off the post, but that was the Sharks’ closest scoring opportunity on the power play before the Jets killed off the man-advantage.

With 1:29 left in the period, Dustin Byfuglien received a hooking penalty on a wild play that resulted in Byfuglien checking Justin Braun into another Jets player and Marcus Sorensen behind the net. Thankfully, no one was injured on the play.

The Jets began their penalty kill by having a 3-on-1 break, where Pavelski had to make a perfect defensive play in order to break up the rush. The Sharks were able to get two shots on net before the horn blew to end the second period, with 30 seconds remaining on the power play when the teams return for the third period. The Sharks outshot the Jets 16-7 in the second period.

The Jets killed off the penalty at the beginning of the third period. Two minutes after the penalty was killed, San Jose had a terrific scoring opportunity, but Pavelski hit the outside of the goal post.

Morrissey had another chance at a goal to take the lead, but he was tripped up on his trip to the net with 14:30 left in the third. With six seconds left in the power play, Mikkel Boedker got a breakaway attempt, and netted the shorthanded shot to lift the Sharks ahead 2-1. The Sharks now have at least one shorthanded goal in each of their three games against the Jets this season.

The Sharks went back on the power play, as Byfuglien committed his second penalty of the night with 5:34. San Jose followed suit with their first two power plays, in which they did not score. Shocker. On the bright side, they did kill two minutes off of the game clock.

The Jets pulled the goalie with 2:06 remaining in the third period. Winnipeg had a chance right off the initial face-off, but they missed the net. San Jose countered and nearly scored, but Hertl’s shot was blocked. The goal would have given Thornton his 1000th assist.

With 1:08 remaining, the Sharks iced the puck, resulting in a Jets’ timeout to recharge the batteries for their top scoring line. Patrik Laine almost put a puck past Dell, but he got his pad on it. Byfuglien rocketed a shot toward the net from the point, but Dell corralled the puck again.

Pavelski got his second goal of the evening on the empty net and Thornton picked up an assist on the goal for his 1000th career assist. The Sharks took a 3-1 lead with the goal.

With 17 seconds left, the Sharks picked up a penalty on a delay of game penalty. The Jets scored 10 seconds later to cut the lead in half to 3-2. San Jose was able to kill off the remaining time on the clock, and came away with two points.

Notes:

  • Thornton became the 13th player in NHL history to reach the 1000 assist milestone.
  • Tonight’s game was Thornton’s 900th career game with the Sharks, becoming just the 11th player in NHL history to play 900 games with a team he was traded to.
  • Jannik Hansen, who the Sharks acquired from the Canucks at the trade deadline, will likely be good to go on Thursday against the Capitals to make his debut for San Jose.
  • Tonight was Boedker’s first career shorthanded goal in 527 career games.

Fear the Fin Three Stars:

  1. Joe Pavelski
  2. Aaron Dell
  3. Joe Thornton