Sharks’ Thornton plans to play in Game 5

San Jose Sharks captain Joe Thornton plans to play Game 5 of the
Western Conference finals in Vancouver on Tuesday night.

Thornton appeared to hurt his shoulder on a hit by Raffi Torres
in the third period of the Sharks’ Game 4 loss on Sunday. He didn’t
practice Monday, but with the Sharks facing elimination with a 3-1
series deficit against the Canucks, Thornton said he would play
after taking part in the morning skatearound.

”One hundred percent,” Thornton said. ”Whatever it is, it’s
fine today. It’s tough missing the last 10 minutes of any game, but
I feel fine and ready to help out the guys as much as I can. All
the guys realize if you don’t win tonight you go home.”

Thornton leads the Sharks with 17 playoff points. He also plays
against the opposition’s top forwards, and leads San Jose with 318
faceoffs, winning 59.4 per cent, which may be difficult with a sore
shoulder.

”He’s played extremely well, he’s our leader,” Sharks coach
Todd McLellan said. ”I think we’re going a little overboard as far
as him being injured, so I’ll leave it at that.”

San Jose defenseman Jason Demers, out since Game 7 of the
conference semifinals against Detroit, said he’s ready to
return.

”We’re still contemplating that,” McLellan said. ”There’s a
chance.”

Canucks defenseman Christian Ehrhoff, knocked out of Game 3 with
a suspected shoulder injury, did not skate Tuesday morning after
practicing Monday. He is still listed as day to day.