The Sharks center scored two goals against the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Wednesday night. Thorntons multi-goal night at Enterprise Center is the first of his Stanley Cup playoff career.
Thornton gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the first period with his first goal of the night. He grabbed a loose puck in front of Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, beating the rookie netminder with his back hand.
St. Louis answered early in the second period, cutting San Joses lead to one goal when Alex Steen finished off a drop pass from linemate Ivan Barbashev. Eighteen seconds after the Blues got on the board, Thornton once again extended the Sharks lead.
With Binnington looking the other way, Kevin Labanc back-handed a pass to Thornton and the veteran center pushed the puck to himself and tapped it through the rookies five-hole.
Thornton, 39, became the ninth-oldest player to score two goals in a Stanley Cup playoff game, according to NBC Sports California statistician Darin Stephens. His night also stands alone in Sharks history.
Joe Thornton (39 years, 317 days) is the oldest player in @SanJoseSharks history to record a multi-goal game in the #StanleyCup Playoffs, eclipsing the mark set by Jeremy Roenick (38 years, 96 days) in Game 7 of the 2008 Conference Quarterfinals. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/LW1qmpdukG
The veterans second goal gave the Sharks some breathing room. When Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko busted his slump two-and-a-half minutes later, San Jose still nursed a one-goal lead thanks to Thorntons milestone tally.
If Joe Thornton is indeed on his way to knocking a certain mug off his hockey bucket list this spring, hes unlocked at least one, albeit lesser, career achievement along the way.
With goals in the first and second periods of Wednesdays Game 3 versus the St. Louis Blues, the soon-to-be 40-year-old registered his first multi-goal game in his Stanley Cup Playoffs career.
First Thornton started, sustained and finished his initial goal when chasing down a puck on the forecheck, tipping the point shot on Jordan Binnington and then depositing his own rebound on the backhand.
He would then momentarily restore the Sharks two-goal advantage by digging Kevin Labancs pass out of his skates and beating Binnington to the real estate inside the near post.
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We are officially on HATTY WATCH for Thornton. His 4th of the playoffs.3-1 #SJSharks, early 2nd. pic.twitter.com/y6JmJyEhP2
One more goal would mark his sixth hat trick when lumping in the regular season, while two more would mean you know what.