Joe Thornton picked up a first in his 176th career playoff game.
The Sharks center scored two goals against the St. Louis Blues in Game 1 of the Western Conference final Wednesday night. Thornton's multi-goal night at Enterprise Center is the first of his Stanley Cup playoff career.
Thornton gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead in the first period with his first goal of the night. He grabbed a loose puck in front of Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington, beating the rookie netminder with his back hand.
St. Louis answered early in the second period, cutting San Jose's lead to one goal when Alex Steen finished off a drop pass from linemate Ivan Barbashev. Eighteen seconds after the Blues got on the board, Thornton once again extended the Sharks' lead.
With Binnington looking the other way, Kevin Labanc back-handed a pass to Thornton and the veteran center pushed the puck to himself and tapped it through the rookie's five-hole.
Thornton, 39, became the ninth-oldest player to score two goals in a Stanley Cup playoff game, according to NBC Sports California statistician Darin Stephens. His night also stands alone in Sharks history.
Joe Thornton (39 years, 317 days) is the oldest player in @SanJoseSharks history to record a multi-goal game in the #StanleyCup Playoffs, eclipsing the mark set by Jeremy Roenick (38 years, 96 days) in Game 7 of the 2008 Conference Quarterfinals. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/LW1qmpdukG
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) May 16, 2019
The veteran's second goal gave the Sharks some breathing room. When Blues star Vladimir Tarasenko busted his slump two-and-a-half minutes later, San Jose still nursed a one-goal lead thanks to Thornton's milestone tally.