Near the end of the second period, Thornton hit Tomas Nosek after the Vegas Golden Knights forward played the puck. As a result, Thornton will miss Game 4 on Tuesday night in Las Vegas.
As Thornton skated by Nosek behind the Sharks' goal line, the veteran center launched into Nosek and caught him up high with a shoulder to the head.
"I honestly thought I barely touched [Nosek]", Thornton said on Sunday. "He just came right back; it was just one of those plays that it is what it is. Just a weird position he put himself in, that's all".
Thornton's last suspension came in November 2010, when he was banned for two games for a head hit to St. Louis' David Perron. He was suspended two games during the 2010-11 season for a hit to the head on St. Louis Blues forward David Perron, and the National Hockey League department of player safety cited that suspension in its announcement Monday. Thornton's 1,024 points with the Sharks is the second-most in franchise history, trailing only Patrick Marleau. Reeves went as far as calling Thornton "gutless" to reporters Monday.