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Thornton talks winning goal, Sharks' resolve

by Brian Compton /
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joe Thornton has been criticized in the past for his inability to produce in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the San Jose Sharks center came up huge on Sunday.
Thornton's first goal of this postseason broke a 3-3 tie with 7:23 left in the third period as San Jose took a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series with a 4-3 win against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals at HP Pavilion.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pound Thornton spoke with reporters after the game.
Q: Detroit was whistled for five penalties in the third period. What were you guys doing to take them off their game?
Thornton: To be honest with you, I thought we played well all night. We kept moving our feet. Usually if you move your feet, you get your calls. Tonight was no different. We were fast, and ultimately the refs had to call some penalties.
Q: You guys were able to come back a couple of times tonight. What does that say about this team's resolve?
Thornton: The last game, we had the lead all game. Tonight, we had to battle back all night. It's just a good win. (But) every win is huge. You want to win your home games, especially in the playoffs. It's huge going up 2-0 going into their building. It's a tough place to play, but we'll be ready.
Q: Can you describe your goal … how nice was it to capitalize on an odd-man rush?
Thornton: I don't know if it was a 2-on-1 or a 3-on-1, but I thought Dany was going to pass it at the start. Dany shot and (Jimmy Howard) stopped it and I just banged it home.
Q: Nicklas Lidstrom's stick broke to create that odd-man rush. Are those the type of breaks you need at this time of year?
Thornton: Yeah, you do. You need breaks. (But) I think you make your own breaks, and I think we did tonight.
Q: That was your first goal of the playoffs. How sweet is this, considering the timing?
Thornton: It's nice. I'm usually passing to Dany or Patty (Marleau), but tonight to be able to stop in front of the net and just bang it home, it felt pretty good.
Q: Did the fact that you hadn't scored weigh on you at all?
Thornton: No. It's one of those things where I just try to set up guys. I thought tonight I had a lot of shots, but just nothing happened. Eventually, it will go in for me.
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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