Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks fell 4-1 to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena Friday. Toronto goals came from Jake Muzzin, Morgan Reilly, Ilya Mikheyev and Auston Matthews. Goaltender Frederik Andersen made 15 saves for the win. The lone Sharks goal was scored by Kevin Labanc, while goaltender Martin Jones made 24 saves in the loss. It was Patrick Marleau’s 1500th game as a Shark.
The Sharks had to kill five penalties in the game, and only had one power play. Captain Logan Couture talked about how the team handled this second game in two nights, and third in four days:
I thought we put ourselves in a position to win a game. Obviously too many penalties, but the kill was great, kept us in it. Joner made big saves when we had breakdowns on it. You’re gonna have nights like tonight when, you know, you’re not feeling it and you’re not getting much offensively. We were close to pulling out a point there. It’s tough we couldn’t get one but I liked our kill and I liked our defensive, I guess, desperation.
The penalty problem was something the Sharks had discussed before the game. Head Coach Peter DeBoer said:
I think we talked coming in, in 3 in 4 and a back-to-back, that we needed to do a few things and one of them was stay out of the penalty box. You know, you can’t, you got a little bit of a tired team, we took, what, five minors? It’s hard and I thought we ran out of gas in the third killing all those penalties. Made it tough on ourselves with the penalties.
Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon was asked about a hit he made on Auston Matthews during the game: “Obviously you want to be physical on the good players but I never want to see a guy get injured like that. I saw him leave, I was happy to see him come back in the third. Kinda said, you know, didn’t mean to catch him like that but at the same time, you know, you gotta be hard on those guys, they’re such good players.”
The Sharks started the scoring midway through the first period. Tomas Hertl made a quick play up the boards to Brent Burns at the blue line and Burns took a shot at the net. Kevin Labanc got a piece of it as it went in the net for his fourth of the season. Burns and Hertl got the assists.
Through the second period, the Sharks successfully killed two penalties but only managed three shots on goal. The score stayed 1-0 until the final minute of the second.
Jake Muzzin scored for Toronto with just 3 seconds left in the period. As Muzzin skated to the net, the puck came to him from the corner off of Jason Spezza’s stick. Assists went to Spezza and Ilya Mikheyev.
Toronto took the lead in the third period with a goal from Morgan Reilly at 14:31. William Nylander, Alexander Kerfoot and Cody Ceci entered the zone at speed, drawing the attention of the Sharks defense. Morgan Reilly trailed and Nylander found him as he came across the line. Reilly had also started the play with the first pass in the defensive zone.
Two more goals came from Ilya Mikheyev and Auston Matthews in the final minute of the third. Mikheyev’s goal was into an empty net, with and assist to Mitch Marner. Marner also got an assist on the Matthews goal.
The Sharks next play on Sunday against the Ottawa Senators at 4:00 PM PT.