SAN JOSE, Calif. — Joe Thornton reached an impressive milestone in familiar fashion: by threading one of his pinpoint passes on the power play to a wide open teammate for an easy goal.
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.
“I’ve played with a lot of good goal scorers in my career and a lot of good players,” Thornton said. “That’s how that happens.”
Thornton has points in all 10 of those games as he shows few signs of slowing down at age 36.
“I played against Joe for a lot of years and he just doesn’t seem to get any older or slower or any worse,” assistant coach Bob Boughner said. “It’s almost he gets better with age. I think the guys feed off that.”
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 for his civil trial in a domestic violence case and will also miss Wednesday’s game in Los Angeles.
“We didn’t have a good start. Offensively we didn’t generate much,” Roy said. “I don’t want to use the word ‘distraction’ but we had three guys sick this morning. It’s hard enough to play when you’re 100 per cent.”
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.
“It’s 4-0. What do you have to lose?” Roy said. “I’m asking the players not to quit and asking myself, too.”
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.
“It was a great pass,” Pavelski said. “Just trying to get open and he put it right there and I had all the time in the world.”
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’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 and allowed one goal on three shots. … 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.