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San Jose
Sharks
51-22-9
Toronto
Maple Leafs
38-36-8

41 SOG
30 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
SJS
TOR
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game recap

Sharks beat Maple Leafs for sixth straight win

Tuesday, 12.03.2013 / 9:01 PM

Joe Yerdon - NHL.com Correspondent

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Sharks beat Maple Leafs for sixth straight win
San Jose Sharks 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Three Stars of the Game
Joe Thornton
1st
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 18:20
James van Riemsdyk
2nd
James van Riemsdyk
G: 0Shots: 7
A: 1Hits: 5
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 22:10
Dan Boyle
3rd
Dan Boyle
D
G: 0Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 19:29

TORONTO - The San Jose Sharks turned a too-long shift by the Toronto Maple Leafs' fourth line into the go-ahead goal in their sixth consecutive victory.

Brad Stuart scored the tiebreaking goal 16 minutes into the second period and the Sharks beat the Maple Leafs 4-2 on Tuesday night at Air Canada Centre. Stuart's shot from half-boards went off of a Maple Leafs defenseman in front of the net and past goalie James Reimer to put the Sharks ahead to stay. Forward Joe Pavelski pressured in front of the net forcing the defensemen in on Reimer.

Stuart's third goal of the season came against the Maple Leafs' weary fourth line, which was trapped in its own zone and was gassed after being on the ice for a shift that lasted 1:48.

"They're tired and they're fourth line so, no disrespect, but you can maybe try things that you ordinarily wouldn't do," Stuart said. "I think we had a lot of good looks on that shift. We were able to get a good bounce and capitalize on it."

Logan Couture hit the empty net with 1:24 remaining, assuring the Maple Leafs of their fifth consecutive loss.

"We try to accentuate the positives, but the big negative is we lost," coach Randy Carlyle said. "And what we have to do is we have to continue to prod and push our players and support our players in the things they're doing well and continue to try to improve on the things we're doing poorly. Did we give ourselves a chance tonight? We gave ourselves a chance for about half of the game."

Both teams' fourth lines played a key role in the outcome.

The Sharks struck first at 10:00 of the first period when defenseman Jason Demers took a shot from the blue line that was tipped in by fourth-liner Mike Brown, a former Maple Leaf, for his second goal of the season.

"I thought they were the difference in the game," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of his fourth line. "Maybe their minutes don't reflect it, but their energy and their passion that they played with rubbed off on others. When it wasn't going good we kept turning to them to get some energy going and they did a really good job."

Joe Thornton scored his fifth of the season at 14:31 during a 5-on-3 power play to make it 2-0 after the Maple Leafs got into a hole because of penalties to Jay McClement and Mason Raymond.

"[Pavelski] just made a nice play," Thornton said. "He kind of put it through the defenseman's stick and, really, I just had an open net, so I had to get it up a bit. I can't remember the last time we had a 5-on-3 so it was nice to capitalize on it."

The goal was the Sharks' first in four opportunities this season with a 5-on-3 advantage.

"Go down 5-on-3 and that took the momentum totally for the period in their favor," Carlyle said. "When you give a hockey team like that momentum, they can skate, they're big, there was no real surprise on what they were going to do. They did it. And it took us till the second period before we got our things going."

But after being outplayed badly in the first period, Toronto capitalized on a pair of power plays to pull even before the midway mark of the second.

Raymond made it 2-1 at 2:34 when he stole the puck from Stuart, broke in on a 2-on-1 and beat goalie Antti Niemi (28 saves) through the five-hole for his 10th goal of the season.

"We were moving our feet. I think that's the biggest thing," Raymond said. "We were hard on the forecheck and were not receiving the play. I think it's as simple as that."

Phil Kessel tied the game at 9:47 with his 15th goal of the season and the 200th of his career. He converted a quick pass by Tyler Bozak after an initial shot from the side of the net by James van Riemsdyk.

"I think we've always said we have a lot of resiliency in this room, and it's about trying to stay even-keel," van Riemsdyk said. "You never get too high, you never get too low. You just try to keep that consistency with your game."

The Maple Leafs lost Bozak not long afterward when he suffered an upper-body injury. Carlyle said he didn't know the severity of the injury.

Toronto center Dave Bolland (cut ankle tendon) and forward Joffrey Lupul (groin) are on injured reserve, and defenseman Cody Franson has missed the past two games with an undisclosed injury.

"I think it's annoying for everyone," said Reimer, who finished with 37 saves. "But at the same time, guys get opportunities. You've got to step in there and play well as a team. Last year we had lots of injuries, too, to key guys for long periods of time and we found ways to win. This season we've got to do the same thing and fight for each other."

The Sharks continue their four-game road trip on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Maple Leafs host the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

scoring summary
1st Period
10:00
SJS
Mike Brown (2) ASST: Jason Demers (11), Andrew Desjardins (5)
1 - 0 SJS
14:31
SJS
PPG - Joe Thornton (5) ASST: Joe Pavelski (17), Dan Boyle (6)
2 - 0 SJS
2nd Period
02:44
TOR
PPG - Mason Raymond (10) ASST: Morgan Rielly (9), Carl Gunnarsson (2)
2 - 1 SJS
09:47
TOR
PPG - Phil Kessel (15) ASST: Tyler Bozak (7), James van Riemsdyk (9)
2 - 2 Tie
16:00
SJS
Brad Stuart (3) ASST: Dan Boyle (7)
3 - 2 SJS
3rd Period
18:36
SJS
EN - Logan Couture (10) ASST: Tommy Wingels (10)
4 - 2 SJS
penalty summary
1st Period
05:47
TOR
Frazer McLaren  Roughing against  Andrew Desjardins
13:04
TOR
Jay McClement  Hooking against  Jason Demers
13:47
TOR
Mason Raymond  Tripping against  Dan Boyle
18:28
SJS
James Sheppard  Interference against  Jerred Smithson
2nd Period
01:07
SJS
Dan Boyle  Interference against  Trevor Smith
07:26
TOR
Jerred Smithson  Fighting against  Andrew Desjardins
07:26
SJS
Andrew Desjardins  Fighting against  Jerred Smithson
08:55
SJS
Logan Couture  Hi-sticking against  Trevor Smith
12:10
TOR
Mason Raymond  Hi-sticking against  Joe Thornton
3rd Period
NONE
goalie stats
Antti Niemi
SA: 30TOI: 59:53
Saves: 28EV: 19 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 9 - 11
SV%: .933SH: 0 - 0
James Reimer
James Reimer
6-4-1
SA: 40TOI: 59:38
Saves: 37EV: 32 - 34
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .925SH: 1 - 1