Pavelski scores twice as Sharks cruise past Maple Leafs
MAR 12, 2014 1:26a ET
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Joe Pavelski had two goals and an assist and passed the 400-point milestone for his career to lead the San Jose Sharks to their third straight victory, 6-2 over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
Tommy Wingels also scored, had a second goal waved off, delivered a bone-crushing check, and got into a fight for the Sharks, who moved within two points of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division. Brent Burns, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Marty Havlat added goals. Antti Niemi made 19 saves.
Pavelski scored San Jose's final two goals to give him 34 for the season as he got the best of his matchup against his U.S. Olympic linemates Phil Kessel and James Van Riemsdyk. The two Toronto stars combined for a minus-7 rating, and Van Riemsdyk was flattened on a hit by teammate Dion Phaneuf.
The Sharks took over the game with a dominant second period in which they put 15 of the first 16 shots on net and scored the only two goals.
Wingels got it started when he flattened Peter Holland with a hard check in the defensive zone and then got in position to deflect Justin Braun's point shot off the ensuing rush for his 15th goal.
Just 1:19 later, the Sharks went up 4-1 when Pavelski took a pass from Joe Thornton and beat Reimer, giving him 400 NHL points.
The Maple Leafs struggled to generate any scoring chances. Mason Raymond was unable to get off a shot on a breakaway attempt, and Toronto put no shots on goal during its first power play.
About the only facet of the game that didn't go well for the Sharks was their struggling power play, which failed to convert on six chances and is 2-for-54 over the past 17 games. Even a two-man advantage for 1:34 late in the second period couldn't do the trick but it didn't matter as San Jose was firmly in control.
The Sharks also allowed a short-handed goal by Gardiner in the third period.
It was an action-packed first period that featured three goals, two replay reviews and one fight as San Jose took a 2-1 lead on goals by Vlasic and Burns.
In one dizzying 28-second stretch, the Sharks took the lead when Matt Nieto took the puck away from Gardiner behind the net and fed Vlasic in the high slot for a slap shot that made it 1-0 with his first goal in 37 games.
Just 25 seconds later, Gardiner made up for his mistake when he scored on a give-and-go with Raymond following a turnover in the offensive zone by Havlat.
On the ensuing faceoff, former Maple Leafs enforcer Mike Brown fought Troy Bodie.
The Sharks had one apparent goal by Wingels waved off when referee Dave Jackson ruled he intended to blow the whistle even though Reimer hadn't covered a loose puck that Wingels poked in.
Just minutes later, Jackson waved off another apparent goal by Burns before being overruled on replay.
NOTES: Sharks F Raffi Torres missed the game with soreness. ... F Colton Orr returned to Toronto's lineup after missing eight games with an undisclosed injury. ... Maple Leafs D Cody Franson was scratched because he was sick.