The Oilers, Canadiens and Senators lost while the Canucks scored eight goals in a game for the first time since 2009, and Zach Parise recorded the 700th point of his NHL career.

It was an eventful Thursday night in the NHL. Here are five things we learned.

Thornton hits vaunted 1,500-game plateau

It’s only a matter of time before Joe Thornton is inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Before that happens, though, there’s still plenty to celebrate while he’s active and that was the case Thursday when the centre became the 19th player in NHL history to suit up for his 1,500th regular-season game.

Interestingly enough, Thornton is the now the only first-overall pick from an NHL Draft to reach the venerable milestone.

The previous record for most games played by a No. 1 selection was held by Mike Modano. The Michigan hockey legend retired with 1,499 games played and would’ve hit the 1,500-game mark were it not for Mike Babcock making him a healthy scratch for a late-season game against the Minnesota Wild in 2011, Modano’s final season as a pro, when the two were with the Red Wings.

The next-highest draft pick in the 1,500 club is Thornton’s former Sharks teammate Patrick Marleau who happened to go second overall behind Thornton in the 1997 draft.

Of the 19 members in the 1,500-game club, Thornton has more assists than all but six of them. Those six are Hall of Famers Ron Francis, Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, Jaromir Jagr and Steve Yzerman by the way.

Fittingly, Thornton chipped in with a helper Thursday albeit in a losing effort against the Stars. With his second-period assist on Joe Pavelski’s seventh of the season (the 124th time Thornton has helped set up a Pavelski goal) he moved within one spot of Mario Lemieux on …read more



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