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Sharks double up Leafs, win sixth in a row

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Both coaches lamented the fact that their teams did not play a complete game Tuesday.

However, the San Jose Sharks played better for longer, and they extended their winning streak to six games with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The difference was that Sharks coach Todd McLellan complained about one-half of one period and Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle was concerned with one half of the game.

"We gave ourselves a chance for about half of the game," Carlyle said. "It was a measuring stick. That's the way the elite teams play in the league."

It was the fifth loss in a row for the Maple Leafs, two in overtime.

McLellan felt his team was anything but elite in the first half of the second period when the Maple Leafs scored two power-play goals to tie the game.

"I just thought we were outworked for a good 11 or 12 minutes," McLellan said.

San Jose regained the lead late in the second period on a goal by defenseman Brad Stuart.

Sharks center Logan Couture scored his 10th goal of the season into an empty net at 18:36 of the third period to clinch the game.

Right winger Mike Brown and center Joe Thornton also scored for the Sharks. Defenseman Dan Boyle added two assists.

Tuesday's game was the opener of a four-game trip for the Sharks (19-3-5) after a 5-0-0 homestand. They are 9-1-0 in their past 10 games.

Left winger Mason Raymond and right winger Phil Kessel scored for the Maple Leafs (14-11-3).

Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 28 of 30 shots. Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer made 37 saves.

"I thought it was a good game, we played well," Reimer said. "Sometimes you don't play well and it's disappointing, but that's one of the best teams in the league over there, and in my mind, it was anyone's game. Sometimes they don't go your way, and I kind of think that's the way it went tonight."

After spotting San Jose two first-period goals, the Leafs tied the game with two power-play goals in the second, only to have the Sharks regain the lead before the period ended.

"I thought it began in the last couple of minutes of the first period," McLellan said. "We take a penalty against a top power play in the league, and I thought that got a little momentum going (for Toronto). We were clearly outshot, out-faceoffed, out-executed, and it was actually embarrassing for a while the way we were playing."

The Leafs cut the lead in half at 2:44 on Raymond's 10th goal of the season with 23 seconds left on Boyle's interference penalty. Raymond took a shot that trickled past Niemi.

Kessel tied it at 9:47 with his 15th goal of the season -- and No. 200 of his NHL career -- on a close-in snap shot with Couture off for high sticking.

"Early in the second period for about 10 minutes they really gave it us," Thornton said. "About the 10-minute mark, it just kind of switched back, we had a time out and kind of flipped it back on. It wasn't a very good 10 minutes, but we recovered. I think we were on the (penalty kill) for about six minutes, and they've probably got the best power play at home in the league."

San Jose regained the lead at 16:00 of the second when Stuart's shot from an acute angle deep in Toronto territory squeezed past Reimer for his third goal of the season.

Brown was given credit for his second goal of the season at 10:00 of the first period after defenseman Jason Demers' shot from the right dasher deflected off Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly past Reimer.

The Sharks had a two-man advantage when Thornton scored his fifth goal of the season at 14:31, a shot from the edge of the right faceoff circle. Center Joe Pavelski set him up with a pass from the left side of the goal. The goal came after Leafs center Jay McClement was sent off for hooking at 13:04, and Raymond was penalized for tripping 43 seconds later.

"Pavs made a nice play," Thornton said. "I can't remember the last time we had a five-on-three."

NOTES: Sharks C Joe Thornton said Tuesday morning that his vision was fine after he was struck by a deflected puck above his right eye in Saturday's win over the Anaheim Ducks. He returned to that game after receiving stitches and passing a test for concussion symptoms, and he was in the lineup Tuesday. ... Leafs C Peter Holland took the spot in the lineup for C Nazem Kadri, who did not play Tuesday because of the death of his grandfather. ... Leafs D Cody Franson (lower body) did not play. He was injured in last Friday's loss to the Sabres in Buffalo. ... Sharks LW Raffi Torres (knee) and RW Adam Burish (lower body) are on injured reserve, as are Leafs C Dave Bolland (ankle) and LW Joffrey Lupul (groin).
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