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Thornton scores 1,500th point in Sharks win against Flames

Has two assists to become 14th player in NHL history to achieve milestone

by Aaron Vickers / Independent Correspondent

Labanc roofs backhand

SJS@CGY: Thornton gets 1,500th point on Labanc's goal

Kevin Labanc whips a backhand shot top shelf to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead, while Joe Thornton gets his 1,500th NHL point with an assist

  • 00:34 •

CALGARY -- Joe Thornton became the 14th player in NHL history to score 1,500 points, and the San Jose Sharks defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Thornton had two assists to reach the milestone in 1,620 games. In his 22nd NHL season, he has 415 goals and 1,085 assists.

"I know all the names. I've been a hockey fan since '84, probably," Thornton said. "I know all of the names. I've lived and breathed hockey my entire life. To be up there with these guys, it's very humbling."


[WATCH: All Sharks vs. Flames highlights]


Thornton reached 1,500 points at 7:45 of the third period when he assisted on a goal by Kevin Labanc, who scored on a backhand from the slot to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead.

"I didn't know that until they were flipping the puck to the bench," San Jose forward Evander Kane said. "Obviously a storied career. His production keeps trucking along. He continues to get up there in age and he still has that great vision and is able to make great plays to find open guys, and he has great poise."

Kane scored in his 700th NHL game, and Aaron Dell made 30 saves for the Sharks (23-27-4).

"It's a step in the right direction," Kane said. "I think we're just going to try to continue to give ourselves chances to win games here. Tonight we were able to finish some of our chances. We're going to need to continue to do that to win games."

Video: SJS@CGY: Kane scores in 700th NHL game

Johnny Gaudreau scored, and David Rittich made 23 saves for the Flames (27-21-6), who are 2-4-1 in their past seven games following a five-game winning streak.

"We're not thinking about who we're playing or the other team," Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "We're in a race right now. We can't afford to give points away like we are right now. We knew that this stretch was going to be a lot of Pacific Division games and a lot of four-point games. We haven't taken advantage of the last two on home ice. I don't know why that is but it's definitely frustrating."

Gaudreau scored a power-play goal on a return pass from Elias Lindholm 59 seconds into the second period to put Calgary up 1-0.

Brent Burns tied it 1-1 at 3:57 with a slap shot under the bar from the top of the left face-off circle. Thornton set up Burns to reach 1,499 points.

"I think once you're done you'll kind of look back at it," Thornton said. "Right now I just continue to stay in the moment. I know how cliché that is but keep it day to day. That's how I'll keep it until I'm done."

Video: SJS@CGY: Burns hammers puck past Rittich

Kane made it 2-1 at 8:02 when he one-timed a pass from Barclay Goodrow over Rittich's shoulder for his 20th goal of the season.

"Once they made it 2-1 we were on our heels a little bit but we still had our chances," Tkachuk said. "We just couldn't bear down enough tonight and they capitalized on the chances they had."

Flames captain Mark Giordano sustained a lower-body injury at 13:53 of the second period.

"He's obviously our captain, our leader," Flames coach Geoff Ward said. "He plays a lot of minutes for us on the back end and in our top pair, plays both special teams. It's potentially a huge loss. We'll worry about things as they unfold. Right now it's all speculation. We'll wait and see what the doctors say and go from there. Potentially it's a huge loss for us."

Video: SJS@CGY: Gaudreau slams in Lindholm's pass for PPG


They said it

"We know it's going to be an uphill battle for us [to make the playoffs] but we're up to the challenge. With goaltending like that tonight … [Dell]'s been great the last 10, 11 starts for us. He gives us a real good chance every night." -- Sharks forward Joe Thornton

"It's really tough, not the result we wanted. I thought we had our looks but in the end it wasn't good enough. We didn't win the game. These are the games you have to win at home. Not good enough from our side." -- Flames forward Mikael Backlund


Need to know

Thornton trails Paul Coffey by 31 points for 13th all-time in NHL scoring. … Thornton's two assists give him 800 with the Sharks. … Burns has 500 points (154 goals, 346 assists) in 644 games with San Jose. … Sharks forwards Alexander True and Maxim Letunov each made his NHL debut. True had one shot and four hits in 12:52 and Letunov had one shot in 10:17. … Lindholm has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak.


What's next

Sharks: At the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNW, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Nashville Predators on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SN1, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Video: Thornton gets 1,500th point in Sharks win

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