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game recap

Thornton, Karlsson hit milestones in Sharks win against Predators

Forward scores 400th NHL goal, defenseman gets 400th NHL assist for San Jose

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- Joe Thornton scored his 400th NHL goal, Erik Karlsson got his 400th NHL assist, and the San Jose Sharks rallied for a 5-4 win against the Nashville Predators at SAP Center on Tuesday.

Thornton's milestone goal was the game-winner. He broke a tie at 13:18 of the third period, 13 seconds after Joe Pavelski tied it 4-4 with his second goal of the game. Thornton took a cross-ice pass from Marcus Sorensen and scored from the left face-off circle.

"Marcus made a great play," said Thornton, who centered the third line. "I love playing with him. It seems like we've got some chemistry together now. What a play by him. I had to finish it."

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Sharks highlights]

 

Thornton became the seventh player in NHL history to play 1,500 games, score 400 goals and get 1,000 assists.

"It was awesome," Pavelski said. "That's all we need to talk about tonight. That was a big goal for us. You can see him really finding his game, getting up to speed. That only comes with playing games. He's found the puck in that spot a few times now and he's made some big shots for us. Tonight was an awesome one to see go in."

Video: NSH@SJS: Thornton nets 400th goal to put Sharks ahead

Sorensen had a goal and two assists, Antti Suomela scored, and Martin Jones made 30 saves for San Jose (10-6-3), which built a 3-0 in the first period before giving up four unanswered goals.

Filip Forsberg had two goals and an assist, and Craig Smith and Rocco Grimaldi scored for the Predators (13-4-1), who lost a road game in regulation for the first time this season (8-1-1). Nashville lost 2-1 in a shootout at the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. Juuse Saros made 32 saves.

Video: NSH@SJS: Forsberg beats Jones on breakaway

Grimaldi scored his first goal of the season, a breakaway at 2:43 of the third period to give Nashville a 4-3 lead.

"The first period, there's nothing that can be said," Grimaldi said. "It was abysmal. Juuse was fighting by himself. If not for him we'd really be down. He saved us. 
We wanted to fight back. The first period is not acceptable for a team of our caliber against a middle-of-the-pack team.

"The first period came back to bite us. No matter what happens we believe we can come back."

Sorensen scored at 5:09 of the first period to give San Jose a 1-0 lead, and Pavelski tipped Karlsson's point shot for a power-play goal at 7:05 to make it 2-0.

Video: NSH@SJS: Pavelski scores, Karlsson earns 400th assist

The Sharks increased their lead to 3-0 at 16:51 when Suomela scored on a one-timer from the slot.

Smith cut San Jose's lead to 3-1 at 4:43 of the second. Forsberg made it 3-2 at 5:23 on a breakaway, and Forsberg tied it 3-3 from the right circle at 17:52.

"We went to sleep there for a little while," Pavelski said. "Just got off our game. It was nice to see us kind of wake up and make a few plays at the end."

Video: NSH@SJS: Pavelski ties the game with his second goal

Grimaldi's go-ahead goal in the third set the stage for San Jose's wild finish and Thornton's game-winner.

"I don't care who I play with," Thornton said. "I just want to play and enjoy it and have fun. That's what you saw tonight. This team, that was the purest form of hockey that you could have. It was just a bunch of kids playing hockey. Our backs were against the wall but we came back. It was just a great hockey game."

Video: NSH@SJS: Grimaldi dekes out Jones on breakaway

 

They said it

"It was a bad start. That's the only way to describe it. We gave them everything they got. In the second period we did to them what they did to us. It's unacceptable how we started." -- Predators forward Craig Smith

 

"It was an interesting game. I'm sure I've been a part of a game like that, but I don't remember it and I probably don't care to remember it. The good thing is we came out on the right side. The first period we probably played maybe our best period of the year. And then we found a way at the end. Those are the good things." -- Sharks coach Peter DeBoer

Video: NSH@SJS: Jones robs Smith with terrific glove save

 

"I saw that we had two guys in front of the net that were alone. I just tried to get it through, and obviously [Pavelski] is one of the best in the League at getting sticks on pucks, especially in that area." -- Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson on his 400th NHL assist

 

Need to know

Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban played his 600th NHL game but left early in the second period with an undisclosed injury. ... Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok (lower body) missed his third straight game. … Karlsson is the 13th defenseman in NHL history with 400 assists. … Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, who had his 100th NHL assist in the first period, left midway through the second with a lower-body injury. He has 14 points (three goals, 11 assists) in the past 11 games.

 

What's next

Predators: At the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Sharks: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, SNO, NHL.TV)

Video: Thornton scores 400th NHL goal, Sharks edge Predators

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