Sharks take game from Maple Leafs

By Pearl Allison Lo


~ After squandering a 2-0 lead, San Jose finally came from behind to win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-4 Thursday in overtime.

The Sharks lost the lead 4:50 into the second and were down 4-2, after Michael Grabner scored just 1:59 into the third.

A quick reaction by Marc-Edouard Vlasic though, put San Jose right back into the game, as the Sharks then slowly chipped away at the Maple Leaf’s lead.

It was an all too familiar scene for Toronto, who on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, had a lead going into the second, lost it in the third, made it to overtime, but lost by the identical score of 5-4.

San Jose had a season-high 21 shots in the first period, one game after reaching a season-high 20 shots during Tuesday’s game. Against the Maple Leafs, the Sharks had a game-total 42 shots, 2 shy of their season-high total.

San Jose’s shot domination in the first was 21-9, as the line of Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau were able to cash in on their two power play opportunities.

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau was called for tripping 1:55 into the game. That led to a power play goal six seconds later. Pavelski had his second goal in as many games, aided by Burns and Marleau.

30 seconds into their second power play at 11:32, Marleau followed Pavelski’s footsteps with his second goal in as many games. Pavelski got the first assist and  Burns the second.

Toronto coach Mike Babcock had no choice but to put in goalie Jonathan Bernier after rookie Garret Sparks then left with a lower body injury.

The Maple Leafs still managed to score a goal in the period at 14:48. Peter Holland scored, helped by Daniel Winnik.

In the second, the Sharks committed two penalties but were able to avoid a goal as a result of them.

Toronto tied the game 2-2 when their goal leader Leo Komarov won the faceoff and got the puck back. He led goalie Martin Jones to the side and was able to slide the puck in between Jones and the post. Nazem Kadri got the puck after the faceoff and Frank Corrado got his first assist.

James van Riemsdyk then gave the Maple Leafs the lead with a short side goal, falling while approaching the goal from behind. He was assisted by Parenteau and Tyler Bozak. It was a hot line with van Riemsdyk’s third goal in as many games. Parenteau and Bozak now have points in four straight games.

With .9 seconds left in the second, Toronto’s Joffrey Lupul had a clear chance, but hit post. After, more time was added to the clock for a shot. The shot went to Lupul, but this time Jones stopped it point blank.

The third period had different excitement.

Grabner’s goal to pad the lead was aided by Holland and Winnik.

Vlasic’s timely reply came just over a minute later, as the Sharks responded for the first time since the opening period. His shot came from the blue line, helped by Justin Braun.

At 5:06, San Jose’s Chris Tierney’s breakaway turned into a penalty shot when he was hooked.

The Maple Leafs had a 2-on-1 after, but Jones was able to avoid the score.

Then at 11:49, Matt Nieto sent the game to overtime with a gritty goal. He fell initially and after getting up, he scored while falling down when he got the puck back. Nieto was assisted by Tierney and Joonas Donskoi.

Burns scored the game winner 2:13 into overtime, aided by Thornton and Pavelski.

Game notes: The Sharks’ Tomas Hertl made his return to the team. San Jose will play a back-to-back for their third game of the road trip. They face the Ottawa Senators Friday at 4pm.

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