San Jose at Dallas

Thornton's go-ahead goal, two assists take Sharks past Stars

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DALLAS -- Joe Thornton took over another game for the San Jose Sharks.

Thornton scored the go-ahead goal with 8:36 left and added two assists to help the Sharks win their third straight, 3-2 against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

With the game tied at 2, Milan Michalek took possession behind the Dallas net and passed in front to Thornton, who beat Marty Turco for his 12th of the season.

"Milan made a great play and I slapped it in," said Thornton, who had a cut on the bridge of his nose caused by a teammate's stick in the first period. "He got it and he saw me and I don't think Marty had the time to react."

Thornton has figured in 10 of the Sharks' 11 goals in the last four games.

"It was a pretty dominating performance by Thornton," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "It's not just points but all the other little details he has in his game. To have a player like that, it's enjoyable to watch."

Patrick Marleau added a goal, Jonathan Cheechoo scored on the power play, and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 17 shots for the Sharks, 7-1-3 in their last 11 games to pull within two points of the first-place Stars in the Pacific Division.

But the best player on the ice was Thornton.

"Thornton was the difference in the game," Stars coach Dave Tippett said.

Said Stars defensive forward Stu Barnes: "Joe Thornton is one of the best in the league. He has great hands, great vision and has a heavy shot. He's an outstanding player who had a great game."

U.S.-born goal-scoring leader Mike Modano notched the 516th of his career, and defenseman Trevor Daley added his first of the season and ninth of his career for the Stars, opening a four-game homestand after going 4-2 on an East Coast trip.

Turco made 25 saves for the Stars, who had won eight of their previous 10.

Dallas held a two-man advantage for 47 seconds with less than 3 minutes left, but the Stars couldn't get a shot on net and saw their four-game home winning streak end.

"It did ratchet up the tension," Wilson said. "If they happen to score quick, then we've got another power play to kill."

Cheechoo got the game's first goal at 18:15 of the opening period, notching his fourth when he banked the puck off the stick of Dallas defenseman Nicklas Grossman and past Turco while Stars defenseman Mattias Norstrom was in the penalty box for holding.

Cheechoo has been slumping this season after scoring 37 goals in 2006-07.

Daley tied it at 3:31 of the second period, taking the puck the length of the ice and beating Nabokov from the right circle.

Marleau put the Sharks back in front 2-1 with his fifth of the season at 6:02 of the second period, striking from the slot off Thornton's setup.

But Modano tied it at 2 on a sharp-angle shot at 6:08 of the third period, his ninth of the season.

"I thought we did a good job hanging around the game," Tippett said. "It certainly wasn't our best game by any stretch, but we kept finding a way to keep ourselves in it."

Notes

  • Marleau has five goals in the past two seasons against the Stars.
  • Out for San Jose are LW Ryane Clowe (knee), D Brad Norton (back) and C Marcel Goc (back).
  • Earlier in the day, the Stars announced that D Philippe Boucher will go on IR and miss at least four weeks because of shoulder surgery. Boucher has been playing through the injury that coach Dave Tippett described as "normal wear and tear," and Boucher stayed in the lineup until Norstrom was healthy enough to be activated earlier this week. Norstrom has recovered from a facial injury and played for the first time since Nov. 7.
  • RW Junior Lessard was recalled from Dallas AHL affiliate Iowa to replace Boucher. Lessard had eight goals and 10 assists in 21 games for the Iowa Stars this season.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Joe Thornton (center) and the Sharks celebrate in front of Marty Turco after Thornton's goal.  (AP)
Joe Thornton (center) and the Sharks celebrate in front of Marty Turco after Thornton's goal. (AP)
Related Links
 
Scoreboard
San Jose (14-8-4) 1113
Dallas (15-10-4)0112
Three Stars
J. Thornton
SJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
P. Marleau
SJ


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
M. Modano
DAL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
18:15Power Play - Jonathan Cheechoo (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Joe Thornton
2ND PERIOD
03:31Trevor Daley (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mattias Norstrom
06:02Patrick Marleau (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Joe Thornton, Douglas Murray
3RD PERIOD
06:08Mike Modano (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Loui Eriksson, Matt Niskanen
11:24Joe Thornton (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Milan Michalek, Christian Ehrhoff
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
16.0Halpern, 2 min, High-Sticking
17:10Norstrom, 2 min, Holding
2ND PERIOD
09:24Modano, 2 min, Tripping
11:03Morrow, 2 min, Hooking
13:43Morrow, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
16:05Grier, 2 min, Interference
17:18Rivet, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
Shots On Goal
 123T
San Jose1210628
Dallas57719
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Evgeni Nabokov60:00172
Marty Turco58:44253
Game Information
Attendance - 17318
Referees - Don Koharski, Dennis LaRue
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Jay Sharrers
 
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