San Jose, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Thornton was involved in all three San Jose goals, scoring once and assisting on the other two as the Sharks rallied to beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Thursday to take sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division.
Thornton scored 8:11 into the third period to tie the score at 2-2 and sent a puck on net from the left boards that Brent Burns deflected in for the winner with 3:59 remaining.
"I just saw Burnsie's big body in front and just threw it in there," said Thornton.
Patrick Marleau also scored for the Sharks, who bounced back from a 3-2 loss to Florida on Tuesday to win for the seventh time in their last eight games. Antti Niemi had 16 saves to get the victory.
Mathieu Perreault and Teemu Selanne scored for the Ducks, who have struggled to a 2-4-2 record since winning their first two post-Olympic games. Frederik Andersen gave up three goals on 28 shots.
"We don't have the luxury of having a let down right now," said Anaheim head coach Bruce Boudreau.
Selanne's goal on a deflection 1:43 into the third period gave the Ducks the lead and they remained in front moments later when center Daniel Winnik scraped the puck off the goal line after it had gotten past Andersen.
But Thornton tied it at the 8:11 mark after a long rebound came to him on the right side.
The Sharks have won three of the four games this season between the division foes, who will play again on April 9 in Anaheim. They entered this one tied atop the division with 97 points.
Both teams scored a power play goal.
Marleau, in the low left circle, one-timed Thornton's pass from behind the net to give San Jose a 1-0 lead with 6:08 left in the first period. Perreault tied the score for Anaheim with 2:20 to play in the second on a long rebound.
The Sharks will finish up a three-game homestand Saturday against Washington ... The Ducks play Florida at home on Sunday.
03/21 02:51:30 ET
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