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game recap

Thornton gets 1,300th point, Sharks top Avalanche

Forward also extends point streak to 10 games

by Eric Gilmore @NHL / Correspondent

Thornton collects 1,300th point

COL@SJS: Thornton feeds Pavelski for 1,300th point

1/26/16: Joe Thornton sets up Joe Pavelski's goal with a perfect pass to collect his 1,300th career point

  • 01:00 •

SAN JOSE -- Joe Thornton celebrated another career milestone, and the San Jose Sharks rolled to a 6-1 victory against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on Tuesday.

Thornton had two assists, giving him 1,300 points in his NHL career. He is the 33rd player in League history to reach that milestone.

"I've played with a lot of good players," Thornton said. "It's a lot. I've played with a lot of good goal scorers in my career and a lot of good players. That's how that happens.

"It's just one of those things where you keep playing. You kind of get on a streak and you feel good and your line is feeling good. All of a sudden, it happens. The guys have been telling me how close I've been. You just go out and play and usually good things happen."

Melker Karlsson , Tomas Hertl,Joe Pavelski,Joel Ward,Paul Martin and Dylan DeMelo scored for the Sharks, who played their final game before the NHL All-Star Game break. DeMelo's goal was his first in the NHL.

Video: COL@SJS: Karlsson deflects the puck past Pickard

Martin Jones made 21 saves for the Sharks (26-18-4), who are 8-0-2 in their past 10 games.

"When you're playing this good you don't want a break," Thornton said. "You just want to play every other day like we've been doing because you feel so good. We've been playing a lot of minutes. If the guys use the rest the right way we'll be fine coming out of the break."

Nathan MacKinnon scored his 17th goal of the season for Colorado.

Colorado backup goaltender Calvin Pickard, who missed the morning skate because of an illness, gave up four goals on 20 shots for the Avalanche (26-22-3), whose four-game winning streak ended. He was pulled after two periods for rookie Roman Will, who made his NHL debut after being recalled from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.

Avalanche starter Semyon Varlamov was not available to play. He remained in Denver to attend to a legal matter relating to a domestic abuse charge in 2013 that was dropped. He'll also miss Colorado's game Wednesday against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Pickard, defenseman Erik Johnson and third-line center Mikhail Grigorenko missed the morning skate because of illness. Pickard and Johnson were in the lineup, but Grigorenko was scratched, with Chris Wagner replacing him in the lineup.

"We didn't have a good start," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "Offensively we didn't generate much. 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 percent."

Thornton extended his point streak to 10 games, the third-longest in the NHL this season. It's the 36-year-old's longest since a 10-game streak from Nov. 14-Dec. 3, 2009 and is four off his career record, set from Nov. 19-Dec. 20, 2005.

"It's amazing," Sharks assistant coach Bob Boughner said of Thornton's continued strong play. "I played against Joe for a lot of years and he just doesn't seem to get any older or slower or any worse. It's almost he gets better with age. I think the guys feed off that.

"When Joe is on, he's making plays like he's making out there and playing as hard as he does away from the puck, that's what impresses me the most is how hard he works. Enjoys the game every day. I think it's very infectious for the whole team, especially the young guys."

The Sharks built a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Karlsson and Hertl.

Karlsson scored his sixth goal of the season and first in nine games at 6:19. Brent Burns ripped a shot from that point that ricocheted off Karlsson in the slot and went past Pickard.

Just over two minutes after ringing a shot off the crossbar, Hertl made it 2-0 at 10:13 with his 10th goal of the season as the Sharks capitalized on a turnover by Johnson. Marc-Edouard Vlasic's shot from above the left circle hit the left post, but Hertl was there to knock the rebound past Pickard from close range.

"They got a couple of good bounces there in the first and then a couple goals at the end of the second and suddenly it's 4-0," Pickard said. "They got the bounces and we didn't get the bounces."

Thornton, who has points in 18 of his past 19 games, got the secondary assist.

Video: COL@SJS: Hertl squeezes rebound by Pickard for goal

Colorado went 4-for-6 on the power play in a 6-3 victory at San Jose on Dec. 28, ending a 13-game winless streak at SAP Center. This time, the Sharks scored two power-play goals in a span of 50 seconds in the second period.

Pavelski took a cross-ice pass from Thornton and beat Pickard from the left circle at 15:28 during a 5-on-3 advantage. The assist was Thornton's 1,300th point.

"It was a good one, right?" Pavelski said of Thornton's milestone point. "It was a great pass. Just trying to get open and he put it right there and I had all the time in the world."

Ward made it 4-0 at 16:18 with a 5-on-4 power-play goal, tracking down a loose puck in the crease and scoring after Pickard stopped Vlasic's point shot but the Avalanche couldn't clear. The goal was Ward's 15th of the season.

Martin increased San Jose's lead to 5-0 at 8:21 of the third period with an empty-net goal, shortly after coach Patrick Roy pulled Will for an extra skater for the second time. MacKinnon scored a power-play goal at 11:35, and DeMelo scored on the power play at 19:03.

"That's him trying to win a hockey game and that's us trying to get the upper hand," Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said of Roy pulling the goalie early. "And we did a good job of creating momentum in the third period."

Colorado went 1-for-5 on the power play; the Sharks went 3-for-5.

Colorado forward Cody McLeod played his 600th career NHL game.

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