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Sharks find scoring touch in rout of Leafs
SJ unloads on Toronto with 7 goals
1/9/16 - By Mike Lee -

Apparently Joe Thornton's outburst at the end of the Red Wings game on Thursday struck a chord with a few of his teammates. Either that or the Toronto Maple Leafs looked so far past Saturday afternoon's game that they forgot to actually show up. Thornton and his teammates erupted for 7 goals in a white-washing of the Maple Leafs in a matinee affair at SAP Center.

Offense hasn't exactly been a strong suit for San Jose the past couple of months, and an opening period goose egg left little to believe that they were going to snap out of it. The Sharks only generated 7 shots in the first 20 minutes even thought they enjoyed a pair of power play chances.

Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier easily dispatched the Sharks meek attempt at offense in that opening period. At the other end of the ice, Martin Jones was forced to negate some early pressure by the Maple Leafs. P.A. Parenteau put a pair of shots on Jones that got Jones attention early in the contest.

The 1st intermission happened, and then the Sharks unleashed the fury of hell on the Maple Leafs.

San Jose pumped four goal past Bernier in the 2nd period, then tacked on three more in the 3rd for the knockout. None of those goals came on the power play. Six goals came via even strength and a short-handed tally left the Sharks with a +34 for the evening. Justin Braun was a +5, followed by Thornton, Joe Pavelski, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, and Tomas Hertl who were all +4 in that final 40 minutes.

Brent Burns started the barrage by passing the puck through Nazem Kadri's skates at center ice, then racing around Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf on the left side before lifting a shot over Bernier's left shoulder. The defenseman threw a shoulder fake on Phaneuf, followed by a burst of speed that allowed him to beat the defenseman.

"I think it's important for us to jump ahead at home here and start playing," said Burns.

The next Sharks goal was simply a head scratcher. With Paul Martin in the penalty box serving a high-sticking penalty the Sharks cleared a puck up the bench side boards. For some reason the Maple Leafs back skaters head to their bench for a line change. Tommy Wingels raced up ice, grabbing the loose puck then headed to the net. Wingels drew Bernier over to the right post before sending a cross-ice pass to Matt Nieto on the left side for the slam dunk goal.

Pavelski added his 21st goal of the season at 15:33 after a quick cycle behind the net setup the pretty tally. Thornton wound the puck around the end boards from the left side, finding Hertl who put a blind backhand pass to the front of the net where Pavelski stuffed it past Bernier.

Hertl got in on the act with the first of this two goals with 2:31 left in the period. Braun fired a shot from the blueline that Bernier blocked but couldn't control. Hertl pivoted around Kadri and lifted a backhand shot high over Bernier for this 5th goal of the season.

San Jose picked up right where they left off to open the 3rd period. Melker Karlsson scored on a shot form the slot that clipped Bernier before flipping into the Maple Leafs net. Chris Tierney setup the goal with a blink-of-the-eye pass from the blueline after he gathered a loose puck skating backward into the Maple Leafs zone. Tierney whipped the puck to the high slot where Karlsson was streaking in on net.

Joonas Donskoi scored a highlight reel goal at 9:38 of the period for his 5th tally of the season. The rookie forward carried the puck up the left wing, before unddressing former Shark Daniel Winnik with a move near the left corner. Donskoi then continued with the puck around the back of the net before wrapping the puck around the right post with a backhand shot. The puck hit Bernier in the left pad before deflecting into the net.

Hertl tacked on the extra point at 11:22 by sweeping home a shot from the top of the crease. Once again, Braun fired a shot on net from the right point. This time, the puck caught Hertl in the midsection before it dropped to the ice in the slot area. Fighting off defenseman Matt Hunwick, Hertl spun off a check then stepped to his left in pursuit of the puck. Bernier tried to poke the puck away from danger, but Hertl beat him to it.

Jones earned the shutout with a series of big saves in the final period. He would finish the evening with 28 saves to earn the game's first star. It was his 4th shutout of the season.

"We thought we played pretty good against Detroit," said Jones. "I think the biggest thing for us at home is putting everything together at once, and tonight everything came together."

Game Notes:

* Former Shark forward Mike Ricci was honored before the game as part of the team's 25th anniversary festivities. Ricci dropped the ceremonial opening faceoff, and was cheered loudly by the 17, 281 in attendance.

* Even with their home woes, the Sharks maintain their dominance over the Maple Leafs, winning for the 9th time in 10 tries against Toronto.

* The 7 goals were the most the Sharks have scored in a game this season. Their 4 goal 2nd period was also their biggest output in any single period this season.


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1 2 3 T
TOR 0 0 0 0
SJ 0 4 3 7
1st period - None.
2nd period - 1, SJ, Burns 17 (Martin, Pavelski), 4:18. 2, SJ, Nieto 5 (Wingels, Burns), 8:09, (sh). 3, SJ, Pavelski 21 (Hertl, Thornton), 15:33. 4, SJ, Hertl 5 (Braun, Thornton), 17:29.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Karlsson 5 (Tierney, Braun), 4:10. 6, SJ, Donskoi 5 (Wingels, Vlasic), 9:38. 7, SJ, Hertl 6 (Braun, Vlasic), 11:22.
1st period - Gardiner, TOR (holding), 5:24; Komorov, TOR (boarding), 17:51.
2nd period - Martin, SJ (high sticking), 7:01; Phaneuf, TOR (interference), 11:45; Phaneuf, TOR (fighting major), 11:45; Wingels, SJ (fighting major), 11:45.
3rd period - Nieto, SJ (hooking), 0:22; Matthias, TOR (hooking), 13:01; Tierney, SJ (holding), 16:43.
Shots Saves
TOR - Bernier 31 24
SJ - Jones 28 28
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
TOR 12 9 7 28
SJ 7 12 12 31
Power Play Conversion
TOR 0 of 3
SJ 0 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Martin Jones
Tomas Hertl
Brent Burns
Referees: Chmielewski, Jackson. Linesmen: Heyer, Nowak.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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