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Weary Leafs blown away by Sharks
Wingels' Gordie Howe hatr trick paces San Jose
3/11/14 - By Mike Lee -

Fatigue is a relevant factor late in the NHL regular season. After hammering on the Anaheim Ducks on Monday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs dragged themselves to San Jose 24 hours later to complete the second half of back-to-back games. San Jose took advantage of the Maple Leafs fatigue factor and pasted the visiting Canadian club 6-2 at SAP Center on Tuesday night. The Sharks scored multiple goals in all three periods to knockout their visitors from Ontario.

* To frame how lopsided this game was, Toronto was out-shot 48-21 and the Maple Leafs never recorded double-digit shots in any one period. San Jose was up 4-1 on Toronto before the halfway point in the game.

* Marc-Edouard Vlasic opened the game's scoring with his 5th goal of the season 3:58 into the contest with a blast from the high slot that slipped under Toronto goaltender James Reimer's right pad.

* Tommy Wingels appeared to score a goal midway through the opening period, but the goal was overturned by referee Dave Jackson, who lost sight of the puck. NHL Rule 31.2 gave Jackson to the leeway to rule the play dead at his own discretion. The flow of the play clearly showed it crossing the line after Wingels threw it on net. The hockey gods would make amends to the Sharks who opened flood gates with 5 goals after the Wingels no-goal.

* San Jose appeared to be on Jackson's naughty list when a Brent Burns goal was waved off by the referee. Jackson would explain that the goal was waved off because he didn't think it crossed the goal line, but video review confirmed the goal. The tally was Burns' 18th of the season, which is a career high.

* Karma would respond favorably for Wingels 6:54 into the 2nd period. The Sharks forward blew up David Clarkson with a perfectly legal hit against the side boards to force a Maple Leafs turnover. San Jose moved the puck into the Maple Leafs zone and where Justin Braun sent a shot on goal from the right point. The puck clipped Wingels who was skating through the slot, changing the shot's trajectory before floating past Reimer. Clarkson partially screened his own goaltender as he was pursuing Wingels with a flurry of cross-checks in response to Wingels big hit moments earlier.

* Joe Pavelski put the Sharks up 4-1 less than 2 minutes later. Joe Thornton carried a Patrick Marleau pass into the left circle before whipping a pass to the right wing, where Pavelski snapped his 33rd goal of the season past Reimer.

* James Van Riemsdyk was forced to skate to the dressing roam early in the 3rd period after his teammate Dion Phaneuf missed a check on Patrick Marleau and ended up catching his teammate up high. Van Riemsdyk would return later in the game.

* Pavelski deposited his 2nd goal of the game at 4:26 of the 3rd period after Jason Demers set him up with a pretty cross-ice pass from the right side. Demers did all the work on the goal, keeping a clearing attempt from crossing the blueline, then skating the puck to the top of the right circle, before sending a laser pass to Pavelski on the far side. Pavelski received the puck then lifted a shot over Reimer who was falling forward.

* San Jose let complacency bite them in the backside late in the game while skating on a power play. Van Riemsdyk intercepted a puck in his own zone and moved it up to Mason Raymond. Gardiner bagged his second of the night on a feed from Raymond after Marleau failed to hustle back on the back check.

* Martin Havlat put the dagger in the Maple Leafs corpse with a goal at 16:33. Havlat cleaned up on a flurry in front of Reimer after Wingels and James Sheppard tried punching home goals from the doorstep. Reimer was displeased with the lack of an interference call on the play, but it was his own teammate who fell into him before Havlat lifted a backhand shot home for his 6th goal of the season.

* Dion Phaneuf tried to take out his frustration on Havlat on the next shift, but several Sharks came to the veteran forward's aid. Wingels engaged Joffrey Lupul ina spirited scrap that game Wingels his first career "Gordie Howe" hat trick. The Sharks are remarkably 14-0 all time when a San Jose player records a hat trick of the Gordie Howe variety.

* San Jose moved to within two points of the Ducks in the Pacific Division standings. San Jose had trailed Anaheim by as many as 13 points in January.

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Scoring
1 2 3 T
TOR 1 0 1 2
SJ 2 2 2 6
1st period - 1, SJ, Vlasic 5 (Nieto), 3:58. 2, TOR, Gardiner 7 (Raymond), 4:23. 3, SJ, Burns 18 (Thornton, Pavelski), 11:04.
2nd period - 4, Wingels 15 (Braun, Sheppard), 6:54. 5, SJ, Pavelski 33 (Thornton, Boyle), 8:13.
3rd period - 6, SJ, Pavelski 34 (Demers, Thornton), 4:26. 7, TOR, Gradiner 8 (Raymond, Van Riemsdyk), 14:56, (sh). 8, SJ, Havlat 6 (Sheppard, Wingels), 16:33.
Penalties
1st period - Bodie, TOR (fighting major), 4:26; Brown, SJ (fighting major), 4:26; Van Riemsdyk, TOR (holding), 14:36.
2nd period - Braun, SJ (hooking), 10:15; Clarkson, TOR (fighting major), 15:04; Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 15:04; PAvelski, SJ (cross checking), 15:13; Phaneuf, TOR (interference), 17:46; McClement, TOR (interference), 18:12.
3rd period - Gleason, TOR (interference), 14:12; Gleason, TOR (fighting major), 14:12; Desjardins, SJ (fighting major), 14:12; Lupul, TOR (fighting major), 16:56; Phaneuf, TOR (unsportsmanlike conduct), 16:56; Phaneuf, TOR (roughing), 16:56; Phaneuf, TOR (10 min misconduct), 16:56; Wingels, SJ (fighting major), 16:56.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
TOR - Reimer 48 42
SJ - Niemi 21 19
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
TOR 6 6 9 21
SJ 14 17 17 48
Power Play Conversion
TOR 0 of 2
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Joe Thornton
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Jackson, Pochmara. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Sharrers.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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