Published April 28, 2016
Joe Thornton had two assists to become the 33rd player to reach 1,300 career points and the San Jose Sharks extended their point streak to 10 games with a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night.
Thornton assisted on goals by Tomas Hertl and Joe Pavelski to reach the milestone and send the Sharks into the All-Star break on their longest point streak since a 10-gamer during the 2010-11 season.
Melker Karlsson, Joel Ward and Paul Martin also scored for San Jose. Dylan DeMelo added his first career goal in the final minute of regulation on the power play, and Martin Jones made 21 saves.
Nathan MacKinnon scored for the Avalanche, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Backup goalie Calvin Pickard, who was battling the flu, allowed four goals on 20 shots before being pulled after two periods. Starter Semyon Varlamov was back in Colorado tending to a legal matter and will also miss Wednesday's game in Los Angeles.
Colorado coach Patrick Roy pulled his goalie for the final 39 seconds of the second period and during several stretches of the third trying to get his team back into the game. The move did not pay off, and Martin scored into the empty net with 11:39 remaining in the third.
The Sharks dominated from the start and broke the game open with a pair of power-play goals in a 50-second span of the second period. With Andreas Martinsen already in the box for boarding, Francois Beauchemin got called for tripping Patrick Marleau.
San Jose converted on the two-man advantage when Thornton slid a puck to an open Pavelski, who shot into the empty net for his 25th goal of the season. That gave Thornton 933 career assists to go with his 367 goals.
The Sharks added a fourth goal on the man advantage when Ward drove the net and knocked in a rebound of a shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic for his 15th goal.
Thornton is showing few signs of slowing down at age 36. He has points in 10 straight games heading into the break, a stretch that has coincided with Hertl rejoining the top line with Thornton and Pavelski.
Thornton's first assist of the game came on Hertl's goal in the first period. Thornton stole the puck from Erik Johnson and fed Vlasic for a point shot that Pickard couldn't control. Hertl then tucked in the rebound for his 10th goal, making it 2-0.
Karlsson had scored earlier in the first period when Brent Burns' point shot hit off his body and went into the net.
NOTES: Roman Will made his NHL debut for Colorado in relief of Pickard in the third period. ... The Avalanche had allowed only four goals during their winning streak before giving up that many in the first two periods. ... Sharks F Dainius Zubrus returned after missing nine games with an upper-body injury.