Thornton, who was selected by Boston with the first overall pick of the 1997 draft, scored a goal in his 1,000th NHL game on Friday night as San Jose ended a three-game slide with a shootout victory in New Jersey.
The 32-year-old Thornton, who has recorded 1,004 points during his career, played 532 games with the Bruins before being traded to San Jose during the 2005-06 season. This evening's test marks his fourth trip back to Boston since that deal.
Thornton has two goals and one assist in five lifetime games against his former club.
After dropping their previous three games in regulation, the Sharks began a six-game road trip on a positive note at New Jersey's Prudential Center. Ryane Clowe scored the game-winning goal in the final round of the shootout to help lift the Sharks to a 4-3 decision.
Clowe moved in slowly, deked and backhanded one past Johan Hedberg to the glove side for the deciding tally.
"It was nice to see us finally score with some opportunities," Clowe said. "It took the whole game, but we needed those two points."
Martin Havlat made his Sharks debut on Friday after missing the first four games of the season while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Havlat, who was acquired from the Minnesota Wild this summer in exchange for Dany Heatley, had an assist in 19 minutes, 15 seconds of ice time.
The Bruins will also try to win two straight for the first time this season after routing the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday. The 6-2 victory was just the third win in seven games for the defending Stanley Cup champions, but two of those victories have come in Boston's last three trips to the ice.
Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin and Zdeno Chara each had a goal and two assists to lift Boston to the lopsided win over the visiting Maple Leafs. Seguin, the second overall pick of the 2010 draft, is off to a great start in his second NHL season and currently leads the Bruins with eight points on two goals and six assists.
Bruins centerman David Krejci returned to the lineup Thursday after a three- game absence with an abdominal injury. Krejci was tied for Boston's team lead with 62 points last year, but he has one goal in four games this season.
Tonight marks the third portion of a four-game homestand for the Bruins, who are 2-3-0 as the host this season.
San Jose has won two of the last three encounters with the Bruins and the Sharks have three victories and a tie in their previous four trips to Boston.