There haven’t been many positive moments for the Sharks at SAP Center this season, so tonight’s blowout of the Maple Leafs was a welcome change. Six different Sharks scored goals and Martin Jones made 28 saves as San Jose won just its sixth game at home this season.
Defensive miscues led to strong scoring chances for both teams early in the first, with Jones making a pair of huge stops on P.A. Parenteau and Joffrey Lupul and Jonathan Bernier stopping Tommy Wingels on a partial breakaway, then Jones stopped Parenteau a second time to bail out his defense again and keep the game scoreless heading into the first intermission.
Brent Burns opened the scoring with a phenomenal goal at 4:18 of the second, taking a pass in the neutral zone and skating around Dion Phaneuf before carrying the puck in front of the net and firing it past Bernier.
Holy Yeti pic.twitter.com/XWm1aPNzKo— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 10, 2016
Matt Nieto made it 2–0 Sharks at 8:09 when Burns cleared the puck on the penalty kill and the Leafs all went to the bench for a line change. Wingels picked up the puck and froze Bernier, then sent it across to Nieto for the easy tap-in. It was Nieto’s fifth goal of the season and second while shorthanded.
a more reasonable speed pic.twitter.com/BhXwvEPbNe— Stephanie (@myregularface) January 10, 2016
The Sharks’ power play came up empty after Phaneuf was called for interference on Logan Couture, but Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a three goal lead not long after the penalty expired, cycling the puck before skating in front of the net and banging home a pass from Tomas Hertl.
Hertl, playing on the Sharks’ top line with Pavelski and Joe Thornton, continued the barrage at 17:29, knocking in Justin Braun’s rebound for his fifth goal of the year and giving the Sharks four goals in a period for the first time since they stunned Columbus to close out their six-game road sweep.
The third period followed the same script as the second, as Melker Karlsson scored the Sharks’ fifth goal of the game and his fifth of the season. Mike Babcock immediately used his coach’s challenge and it briefly looked like the goal would be overturned, but Karlsson barely had possession of the puck before crossing over the blue line and the call on the ice stood.
Joonas Donskoi added a goal to make the score 6–0 Sharks at 9:38, then Hertl scored his second of the game to make it 7–0 at 11:22. Donskoi’s was his fifth of the season, briefly tying him with Nieto, Hertl, and Karlsson again before Hertl pulled ahead with his sixth.
The seven goals set a new season high for the Sharks and improved their league-worst home record to 6–12. They'll be back at SAP Center on Thursday after a short two-game swing through Calgary and Winnipeg.
Sharks goals (assists): Brent Burns (Paul Martin, Joe Pavelski), Matt Nieto (Tommy Wingels, Brent Burns), Joe Pavelski (Tomas Hertl, Joe Thornton), Tomas Hertl (Justin Braun, Joe Thornton), Melker Karlsson (Chris Tierney, Justin Braun), Joonas Donskoi (Tommy Wingels, Marc-Edouard Vlasic), Tomas Hertl (Justin Braun, Marc-Edouard Vlasic)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Tomas Hertl
2) Justin Braun
3) Brent Burns