Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Wednesday, October 12th
Blue Jackets1Final
Game 2: Friday, October 21st
Blue Jackets4
Game 3: Thursday, January 5th
Blue Jackets3Final
Game 4: Tuesday, March 28th
Blue Jackets4

Blue Jackets 3

(12-27-1, 25 pts)

Sharks 6

(17-16-5, 39 pts)

10:30 PM ET, January 5, 2006

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
CBJ 2 0 13
SJ 2 2 26

J. Cheechoo (Sharks - RW): Goals: 3, Assists: 0

N. Ekman (Sharks - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 4

J. Thornton (Sharks - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 3

Columbus (12-26-1) at San Jose (16-16-5) 10:30 pm EST

Columbus (12-26-1) at San Jose (16-16-5) 10:30 pm EST

SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Joe Thornton's first month with the San Jose Sharks got his new team pointed in the right direction.

The Sharks play their first game of 2006 on Thursday when they take on the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets.

Acquired November 30 after San Jose lost 10 consecutive games, Thornton registered five goals and 16 assists to lead the Sharks to six straight victories and an 8-4-1 mark in December.

His presence has also had a positive impact on two of his teammates. Jonathan Cheechoo led the league with 13 goals in December, while captain Patrick Marleau had five goals and 14 assists.

Thornton scored twice and Nils Ekman tied a franchise record with four assists Saturday as the Sharks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 5-2 triumph over Colorado.

Columbus remains last in the league in goals (82) - the only team with fewer than 100 this season. However, the Blue Jackets have played better of late, winning three of their last four.

Rick Nash and Jason Chimera scored for Columbus, which had a three-game winning streak halted in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Detroit. The Blue Jackets were outshot, 43-15.

Chimera had two goals for Columbus in a 4-1 triumph over the Sharks on October 21, which evened the season series at 1-1. However, the Blue Jackets are 1-7-1 all-time at San Jose.