sfgate.com photo from sfgate.com: Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews, left, scores a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in San Jose, Calif., Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Playoff contenders coming into the Shark Tank have officially been put on notice: the San Jose Sharks will not be doormats for the top teams of the league as the season winds down. The Sharks scored two goals in less than a minute in the third period to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 Tuesday night after embarrassing the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 Saturday night at home. The Sharks peppered Jack Campbell with 38 shots on goal Tuesday.
Evander Kane scored twice, Antti Suomela and Stefan Noesen had a goal and an assist and Martin Jones made 25 saves to give the Sharks the victory over a Toronto squad sitting in third place in the Atlantic division five points ahead of the Florida Panthers. Auston Matthews scored his 46th goal of the year, trailing only David Pastrnak (47) of the Bruins for the league lead. The Maple Leafs superstar also added his 33rd assist on a Mitch Mariner goal.
The teams were tied 2-2 entering the third after Toronto twice erased a one-goal deficit, but the Sharks pulled ahead just over five minutes into the final period. Stefan Noesen used the Sap boards to his advantage, tracking down Suomela’s shot that whistled wide left of the Toronto net. It bounced off the end boards on the opposite post where Noesen was waiting to tuck it in for a 3-2 Sharks lead 5:48 into the third.
Evander Kane added his second goal of the game and 24th of the year just 50 seconds later. The winger skated to Leafs net minder Jack Campbell’s left and ripped the puck under his glove for a 4-2 lead. Radim Simek put in the empty netter for the final score.
Kane opened the scoring in the first, tipping a Brent Burns point shot on the power play 6:38 into the game, but Matthews would answer back 2:48 into the second. Suomela scored his first goal of the year 66 seconds later after Noesen put the Puck on Campbell and Suomela found the rebound on the goal line for the no-angle strike. Marner scored with 2:33 left in the second to tie the game 2-2 on a great individual effort.
The Sharks fan once again play spoiler Thursday in game three of a five game homestand when they face the Minnesota Wild. The Wild currently sit one point back of Winnipeg for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference and look to avenge a 2-0 loss at home to the Sharks earlier in the year.