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Joe Thornton could return for Sharks in Game 2

San Jose center game-time decision against Oilers

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

EDMONTON -- San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton will be a game-time decision for Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round against the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Friday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports, SN, NBCS CA).

The Sharks lead the best-of-7 series 1-0 after winning 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday. Thornton, who has a knee injury, did not play in that game.

Thornton, who also missed the final three games of the regular season, skated for almost 50 minutes at the morning skate Friday.

"Same," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said of Thornton's status for Game 2. "Day to day. Skating."

Thornton said he is improving.

"It was nice to get a little extra in there," Thornton said. "It was good to test it a little bit more today. I'm going to just do my normal routine, come in with the guys and see from there. I think it responded real well today."

Thornton has played 1,446 regular-season games and 156 playoff games. He said he didn't know if he would take part in the warmup Friday.

"We'll see what the coaches tell me to do," he said. "A good step today for me. Every day it seems to be getting better, which is a good sign. I feel confident about it."

DeBoer said the Game 1 win won't factor into the decision on Thornton, nixing the notion that San Jose can afford to give the 37-year-old more rest with a lead in the series.

"No difference," DeBoer said. "I've said all along, he's going to decide when he's ready to play and help us. Where the series is at will have no bearing on that. He says 'Go,' he's in."

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