Joe Thornton recorded his first hat trick since October 2010, rallying the San Jose Sharks to a third-period lead Monday night, but the Boston Bruins came out on top 6-5 in overtime at SAP Center.
The contest between the Sharks and the Bruins was billed as a must-see, playoff-caliber matchup. And boy, was it a roller coaster ride.
Fueled by Thornton, the Sharks roared back from a three-goal deficit to stay neck-and-neck with a tough Bruins squad and even took a 5-4 lead in the third period.
Here are three takeaways from Monday’s game:
Joe Thornton had himself a game: Long story short, Thornton put on a top notch performance. He was buzzing all evening, looking confident while collecting all three of his goals. It’s hard to pinpoint which goal was the most impressive -- although his reaction when he notched his third goal was pretty spectacular.
Of course, Thornton’s three goals on the evening also elevated him further up the NHL’s all-time points list, closer to catching Stan Mikita at 1,467 points. While he may be hitting new milestones almost every game, the way he did it on Monday evening was extra enjoyable to watch.
You can’t ever count this team out: There were likely many viewers who wanted to turn the game off when the Sharks went down 3-0 in the first frame. But thanks to Thornton’s first goal on the evening -- which occurred with two seconds left in the first period -- San Jose got a boost to roar back in the second stanza and tie things up.
San Jose really turned up the heat in the third period, taking advantage of the fact Boston was at the end of their road trip through California and a bit gassed. That’s the kind of resiliency a team needs not just at the end of the regular season, but headed into the playoffs. It’s just unfortunate the Sharks didn’t get the win out of it.
On a less positive note …
Too many trips to the sin bin: When NBC Sports California asked Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer what San Jose had to beware of in facing Boston, he named the Bruins’ dominance on the man advantage. “They’re elite in certain areas like their power play,” he said. “Last game we took too many penalties. When you play a team like this you have to be clean in all those areas.”
While two of the Sharks’ penalty kills were masterful, they also couldn’t completely contain the second-ranked power play in the league. Win or lose, this is an area the Sharks want to clean up.
Although, let’s be honest -- Logan Couture's short-handed penalty shot goal was fun to watch.