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Thornton rains on Thornton's parade
Sharks drop 4-3 decision to Stars
11/8/18 - By Mike Lee -

Joe Thornton played in his 1500th NHL game on Thursday night as the Sharks kicked off a quick 2-game road trip with a stop in Dallas. Thornton had a chance to be a hero late in the game with the Sharks trailing the Stars by a single goal. The Sharks centerman found himself with the puck and open ice between him and the Stars goal with a minute to play. Never a goal scoring threat, Thornton lived up to that reputation by putting a shot on net that never really challenged goaltender Anton Khudobin. Thornton's moment to shine ended with a thud, as did the Sharks who lost 4-3.

Thornton's shining moment was another reminder that Thornton isn't the guy you count on to score the big goal. He never has been and he never will be. Time is catching up to Thornton, and that late play was another reminder that his game is a lot less Jumbo-ish than it used to be.

The would be goal that never was, would have been Thornton's 400th career NHL tally. It was one that the Sharks needed after allowing the Stars to score all the big goals in the game. San Jose never held a lead, and were chasing the Stars all night long.

Dallas has been almost unbeatable at home this season, so the Sharks had to step up their game. They didn't.

Devin Shore staked the Stars to a 1-0 lead 8:57 into the game, snapping a shot from the left dot that beat Martin Jones to the near side. Valeri Nichushkin dropped a pass to Tyler Seguin in the high slot after he crossed over the Sharks blue line. Seguin promptly fed Shore on the left wing before the Stars forward lifted a shot for his 4th goal of the season.

Timo Meier answered 6 minutes later by tapping home a Kevin Labanc feed from the bottom of the right circle. Labanc saw Meier breaking to the front of the net, and sent a perfect pass to the top of the crease where Meier fought off Radek Faksa and Dillon Heatherington to tap home his 12th goal of the season.

San Jose outplayed the Stars for the first 6 minutes of the 2nd period, but a momentary lapse allowed Dallas to bite. Seguin stepped in front of a half-hearted pass by Brendan Dillon to intercept the puck, before snapping a shot past Jones. Dillon rushed his attempt to move the puck in his own zone and didn't see Seguin who easily received the pass in the slot.

The Stars made the Sharks defense look foolish 45 seconds later when Gemel Smith fished a triangle passing sequence around two San Jose defenders by easily slipping a puck past Jones for the 3-1 lead. Melker Karlsson and Joakim Ryan were caught chasing the puck rather than playing a man, and the pee wee defense exhibition ended with Smith's 2nd goal this year.

Joe Pavelski cut the Stars lead to a goal by redirecting a Brent Burns pass while perched on a knee in the slot. Burns sent a puck toward his captain from the right point, but Pavelski had been knocked off his skates as he jostled for position in front of the net. Pavelski had the presence of mind to get a stick blade on the pass, redirecting it past Khudobin.

Evander Kane knotted the game at 3-3 7:46 into the 3rd period. The Sharks forward tried to one-time a Brent Burns feed while perched near the inside of the right circle, but he heeled the shot. Khudobin anticipated a blast and slid to his left to cut off the angle, but the puck moved in slow motion, cruising past the goaltender's right skate. Kane was shaking his head as he skated toward the Sharks bench, but the goal ended an 11-game scoring slump for the Sharks forward.

Dallas reclaimed the lead with 5:47 left in regulation when Shore claimed a fortuitous bounce on the right side and fired a shot past Jones. The Stars had created a scoring chance in front, but a shot attempt by Dillon Heatherington, but it was blocked out front, bouncing right to Shore.

San Jose scrambled to bag the equalizer, but they couldn't generate that key scoring chance once Dallas went into prevent mode. Thornton's whiff was the Sharks last chance, but he didn't have the game on this night.

Game Notes:

* Tomas Hertl missed his second consecutive game as he nurses an injury sustained in the Flyers game last Saturday night.

* The American Airlines Center showcased Joe Thornton's games played achievement on the center ice screens, which resulted in a standing ovation from the Stars crowd.

* Marcus Sorensen had a tough night. He was a -3 plus/minus and did not factor into any of the Sharks scoring. He would generate a single shot on net on 19 shifts.

* Martin Jones continues to play just well enough to lost. The goaltender has struggled to reach the 90% save percentage mark all season and is hovering around the 3 goals allowed per game mark. He surrendered 4 goals on only 22 shots versus the Stars. San Jose will need better performances from their netminder if they want to keep pace with the slew of teams near the top of the Western Conference.

* Solid defense has been a staple in San Jose for years, but the Sharks have not received consistent play form their blue liners. With the shift toward more offensive presence on the blueline with the acquisition of Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns penchant for offense, the Sharks have paid the price. San Jose has given up the 9th most goals in the league (50).



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
SJ 1 1 1 3
DAL 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, DAL, Shore 4 (Seguin, Nichunshkin), 8:57. 2, SJ, Meier 12 (Labanc, Couture), 14:18.
2nd period - 3, DAL, Seguin 4 (unassisted), 6:57. 4, DAL, Smith 2 (Dickinson, Heiskanen), 7:42. 5, SJ, Pavelski 7 (Burns, Thornton), 11:17.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Kane 5 (Burns, Suomela), 7:46. 7, DAL, Shore 5 (Heatherington, Comeau), 14:13.
Penalties
1st period - Dillon, SJ (boarding), 1:47.
2nd period - Faksa, DAL (high sticking - double minor), 11:47.
3rd period - Benn, DAL (tripping), 4:45.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Jones 22 18
DAL - Khudobin 36 33
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
SJ 12 13 11 36
DAL 8 9 5 22
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
DAL 0 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Devin Shore
TYler Seguin
Brent Burns
Attendance
American Airlines Center - 18,137
Officials
Referees: MacDougall, Watson. Linesmen: Barton.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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