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Sharks find spark in Thornton line to beat Avalanche without Pavelski

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SAN JOSE – The look on Joe Thornton’s face was a brilliant mixture of joy and disbelief.

Hockey’s most beloved greybeard had just watched a linemate 16 years his junior dance along the opposition’s blue line, sidestep a hit and snap home one of the prettier goals of these playoffs.

As he joined the group hug with mouth agape, the 39-year-old shared just how impressed he was with the kid as 17,500 frenzied fans at SAP Center continued the party they started three nights earlier.

Yes, in a series pitting the Colorado Avalanche’s fresh legs and speed against the San Jose Sharks‘ experience, it was the old-timer and his Sharks who prevailed in Game 1.

By night’s end, Thornton could hardly wipe that grin off his face as his line with Kevin Labanc and Marcus........

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