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Joe Thornton disciplined for slash on Lightning’s Johnson

Joe Thornton disciplined for slash on Lightning’s Johnson

 Joe Thornton received a $5,000 fine from the NHL Department of Player Safety Sunday, the maximum allowable under the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the NHL Players’ Association, for slashing Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson Saturday.

Thornton slashed Johnson on the back of his left leg at 19:51 of the second period of the Sharks 5-2 loss to the Lightning after he got entangled with the forward while skating through the neutral zone.

The fine is the first time that Thornton has faced supplementary discipline from the league since he received a two-game suspension for delivering a hit to former-St. Louis Blues forward David Perron’s head on Nov. 4, 2010.

“Defenseman Jake Dotchin, who did not play during the four-game road trip because of an undisclosed injury, did not practice. He was joined on the sideline by forwards Ryan Callahan and Cedric Paquette, and defenseman Braydon Coburn.

“When asked about Callahan and Coburn, Cooper said, ‘There’s definitely some maintenance issues going on here. Hopefully it’s not long term.’”

With the Bolts down Paquette, and maybe Callahan too, Steve Yzerman has called up Cory Conacher from the Syracuse Crunch.

“Conacher, 27, has skated in one game with the Lightning this season,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-kris-letang-jersey]adidas Kris Letang jersey[/url], posting one goal. He made his season debut with the Bolts last Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins and scored the Lightning's second goal of the game.”

“With his juniors career completed, the Lightning signed Boutin to a three-year rookie contract in July of 2005. Boutin split his first two seasons between the Springfield Falcons in the AHL and the Johnstown Chiefs in the ECHL. His numbers were a good bit better in the ECHL, but he had a hard time making an impact in the AHL.”

“Bossy,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-matt-murray-jersey]adidas Jake Guentzel jersey[/url], the Islanders’ Hall of Fame wing, is one of five players who scored 50 goals in his team’s first 50 games of a season. The others: Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Maurice Richard and Brett Hull.

The subject of 50 in 50 comes up whenever a scorer gets off to a hot start,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-guentzel-jersey]adidas Matt Murray jersey[/url], such as Simon Gagne in 2005-06, Steven Stamkos in 2010-11 and Nikita Kucherov this season.”

After playing airtight defense and compiling a 6-2-2 record over the last three-plus weeks, the Sharks couldn’t bridge the gap between themselves and the NHL’s top team.

The Sharks (14-9-2) loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning (18-6-2) Saturday wound up looking eerily similar to the 5-1 shellacking they received at the SAP Center on Nov. 8. The big difference was Martin Jones,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-pavelski-jersey]adidas Joe Pavelski jersey[/url], who kept the Sharks in the game for a longer stretch of time in the rematch.

Here’s what we learned as the Sharks lost to the Lightning for the second time this season, dropping a 5-2 decision in Tampa.

1. The Sharks are still no match for the NHL’s top team.

The Sharks entered Saturday’s game leading the NHL in goals against average (2.13) and shots against (29.1), but their top-ranked defense is still no match for the high-flying Lightning’s speed and skill.

The Lightning outshot the Sharks 9-1 in the game’s first seven minutes and they held a 31-16 shot edge after two periods. But the Sharks went into the second intermission tied at 1-1 because Jones bailed them out time and time again.

Like our Sharks Facebook page for more San Jose Sharks news, commentary and conversation.

The dam eventually broke in the third as Tyler Johnson scored a pair of goals that put the Lightning ahead 3-1 just 5:39 into the stanza before Cory Conacher added an insurance goal at the 11:01 mark. After Justin Braun scored his first of the year,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-patrick-marleau-jersey]adidas Patrick Marleau jersey[/url], Nikita Kucherov put the game on ice by scoring his league-leading 19th goal on a breakaway with 4:23 left on the clock.

The NHL has fined San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thornton $5,000 for slashing.

The punishment was issued Sunday by the league's player safety department.

Thornton slashed Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tyler Johnson in the second period of Saturday night's game in Tampa, which the Lightning won 5-2.

The NHL's highest-scoring team leaned on its defense to snap a two-game losing streak.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 34 saves in his second shutout of the season, and the Tampa Bay Lightning got goals from defensemen Mikhail Sergachev and Dan Girardi in a 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night.

"When you're on a little bit of a slide,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-thornton-jersey]adidas Joe Thornton jersey[/url], we're just trying to get back to basics," Lightning forward Tyler Johnson said. "Keep it simple, get pucks to the net and get some of those dirty goals."

Tampa Bay is off to the best start in franchise history (17-5-2) but had lost consecutive games for the first time this season.

Vasilevskiy leads the NHL with 16 wins and has six career shutouts in 101 starts.

"He's one of, if not the best goalie in the world right now," Johnson said.

Robin Lehner stopped 24 shots for the Sabres, who were held scoreless for the second straight game and have lost nine of 10.

" Lehner said. "Good enough is not enough right now. We need to claw back. We need to do something special.","It wasn't a bad performance but not good enough

The Sabres pulled Lehner to gain an extra attacker for the final 4:09 of the game.

"We have to have some attitude when we start the game, show more emotion on the ice."," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "This is our home rink. We've got to get out and establish a forecheck

Lightning captain Steven Stamkos, went without a goal for the fifth straight game and has added just one point to his league-high tally during that stretch. Linemate Nikita Kucherov had an assist for his second point in five games and is now one point behind Stamkos for the NHL lead with 35., the NHL's leading scorer

"They've produced at such a high rate," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "The big thing is we won the game and they didn't score.", there are going to be games or little spurts where you're not going to get a point

Sergachev scored his sixth goal of the season on a power play to give the Lightning a 1-0 lead late in the first period. The rookie's wrist shot from the right circle deflected in off the stick of Buffalo's Johan Larsson.

Tampa Bay has scored a power-play goal in nine of its last 10 games and leads the NHL in conversion rate.

Girardi, got his first goal with the Lightning midway through the second period. His slap shot from the top of the right circle bounced in off Buffalo's Marco Scandella., the longtime New York Rangers defenseman

" Cooper said. "But I liked that Stammer was at the net and that's what you have to do. You have to take away the goalie's eyes.","That's in our game plan. You have to get your `D' involved

" Housley said. Ristolainen was playing in his third game after missing nine with an upper-body injury. ... Lightning F J.T. Brown missed his third straight game with an undisclosed injury. ... The Sabres have not gotten a goal from a defenseman all season. ... The Lightning have beaten the Sabres in five straight meetings and are 8-0-1 in their last nine trips to Buffalo. ... The Sabres went scoreless on three power-play chances and are now 0 for 18 over the past seven games.,Sabres D Rasmus Ristolainen went to the locker room late in the second period after being shoved into the net by Tampa Bay's Braydon Coburn but was able to return. "He got a little stinger there but was fine coming back

The injuries are piling up as the Sharks dressing room is quickly turning into a hospital ward.

 retroactive to Nov. 28 and Nov. 25. Mikkel Boedker (lower body) and Melker Karlsson (cut) will be scratched from Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning (17-6-2) because of injuries they suffered in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers.,The Sharks (14-8-2) sent forward Joonas Donskoi (lower body) and defenseman Tim Heed (upper body) to the injured reserve Saturday

 and Donskoi can rejoin the squad when it kicks off a three-game homestand at SAP Center against the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday.,Head coach Pete DeBoer labeled all four injuries as “day to day” as Heed will be eligible to return to the lineup for the Sharks game against the Washington Capitals Monday

 an assessment he stood by Saturday.,DeBoer said Friday that Donskoi’s injury isn’t “serious”

” the Sharks coach said. “We were going to get up this morning,“Nothing changed, but not ready to play yet.”, see if he’s better. He is better

 activate Barclay Goodrow.,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-kris-letang-jersey]Authentic Kris Letang jersey[/url],2. Sharks recall Marcus Sorensen

 DeBoer’s claim that Donskoi’s injury is “day to day” might seem misleading considering that the team sent him to the injured reserve Saturday.,On the surface

By placing Donskoi on the injured reserve, D.C. Sunday.,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-matt-murray-jersey]Authentic Jake Guentzel jersey[/url], the Sharks were able to recall forward Marcus Sorensen from the AHL Barracuda. Sorensen will join the Sharks in Washington

Likewise, giving the team 12 bodies to put on the ice at forward., moving Heed to the injured reserve allowed the Sharks to activate Goodrow for Saturday’s game

 9a) in 19 games for the Barracuda. The 25-year-old Swede suited for 19 games with the Sharks last season and he dressed for all six of the team’s Stanley Cup playoff games against the Edmonton Oilers.,Sorensen got the nod by notching 14 points (5g

“He played well down there,[url=http://www.penguinsofficialhockey.com/adidas-jake-guentzel-jersey]Authentic Matt Murray jersey[/url], and he’s got some elements that we could use up here. His speed and tenacity when he plays inside. I like his game when he’s playing it.”,” DeBoer said. “He was a guy that we had in the mix right until the end of training camp

 recording two assists in five games.,Goodrow will make his return after missing seven games with an upper-body injury. The 24-year-old forward appeared to be on his way to locking down the Sharks fourth line center position before he suffered his injury against the Panthers on Nov. 16

3. Martin Jones will start in goal against Lightning.

Jones will make his return Saturday from a day-to-day injury suffered against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 25.

 its top scorer in Steven Stamkos (37 points) and its No.2 goal scorer in Nikita Kucherov (17 goals).,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-pavelski-jersey]Authentic Joe Pavelski jersey[/url],The timing of Jones’ return couldn’t be better as the Sharks are facing the NHL’s third-ranked offense (3.56 goals per game)

Nevertheless, stopping 61 of the 63 shots he faced, Aaron Dell acquitted himself well in Jones’ place over the first two games of the Sharks road trip

“Thankfully,” DeBoer said,[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-patrick-marleau-jersey]Authentic Patrick Marleau jersey[/url], it wasn’t more serious. You never know, it’s nice to get a fresh guy in there.”, referring to Jones’ injury. “Deller’s given us two great starts, and with a back to back

 Things won't get any easier this weekend with a series of back-to-back games against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The first part of that home-and-home series will take place in Buffalo on Friday night before heading to Pittsburgh on Saturday night.

The Sabres (6-15-4) have only one win in their last 10 games (1-7-2),[url=http://www.sharkshockeyshop.com/adidas-joe-thornton-jersey]Authentic Joe Thornton jersey[/url], Buffalo has been shut out in back-to-back games -- a 3-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and a 2-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday., which came in a 3-1 victory over Edmonton on Nov. 24. Since then

 while the Sabres were unable to light the lamp on the other end.,The loss to the Lightning wasn't a particularly bad one by recent standards for the Sabres. Tampa Bay's goals each came on long shots from the point by defensemen

"It's a funny game when you go through difficult times, we outshot a team but I just don't think we're making it difficult enough on the other goaltender."," Sabres coach Phil Housley said. "You're playing the top team in the East and you're coming away 0-0. The game is going sort of the way you want it to go ... I think the bottom line is we out-chanced a team

"We've got to find a way to make it more difficult and we've got to get in the trenches and get a dirty goal. When's the last time we got one of those? We've just got to simplify that part of our game."

The Sabres received some fortunate news regarding top defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Ristolainen briefly left the game against the Lightning because of injury but returned at the start of the third period and is not expected to miss any more time. Ristolainen recently returned to the lineup after missing nine games with an upper-body injury.

" Housley said. "He's the one guy that did show emotion (against Tampa Bay) and coming back after that he's moving in the right direction.","He got a little stinger there but he was fine coming back

 which included three separate losing streaks. But the Penguins have won two in a row heading into Friday's game,The Penguins (13-10-3) are fighting their way back after a difficult stretch of games in November. Pittsburgh won only four of its first 11 games of the month (4-5-2), Pittsburgh overcame a 3-1 deficit before winning in extra time., which includes a 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay and a 5-4 overtime win over Philadelphia on Monday. Against the Flyers

"When you look at the way the game played out," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said of the win over Philadelphia, in a lot of ways it was a microcosm of our season, play Penguins identity.", get a timely goal. Come out the second period, according to the team's website. "We had a pretty good first period, don't play the right way and give away a ton of scoring chances. Come out in the third period