Programming note: Watch tonight’s Sharks-Wild game on NBC Sports Network at 5:00 p.m.
ST. PAUL – Sharks center Joe Thornton will miss his third straight game on Tuesday in Minnesota, and his status remains unclear for Thursday’s game in St. Louis.
Thornton skated on Tuesday morning at Xcel Energy Center, but only with the team’s scratched players. Most of the Sharks had the morning off after arriving in St. Paul in the early morning hours following a flight from Winnipeg.
“I don’t think it’s fair to answer that question right now,” Todd McLellan said, when asked about Thornton’s potential return against the Blues. “We had a skate this morning but it was an optional, so very few players skated because we’re three [games] in four [nights].
“He was very capable of handling himself there, but that’s not a full practice. We’ll have to determine that over the next day or two.”
The Sharks have off on Wednesday, so it may not be known until Thursday morning if Thornton will be ready. The center took a hard hit from the Ducks’ Clayton Stoner on Dec. 31, and has been out ever since with an upper body injury.
Prior to the road trip, which began in Winnipeg on Monday and ends in St. Louis, McLellan said that Thornton was expected to play in at least one of the three games. The Sharks are 1-1 without the former captain, losing to St. Louis on Saturday, 7-2, but beating the Jets on Monday, 3-2.