Toronto Maple Leafs Score Early To Beat San Jose Sharks 5-3


















GAME SUMMARY         |           EVENT SUMMARY        |           FACEOFF SUMMARY


–       John Tavares opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs on the power play at 3:38 of the first period and later scored the Maple Leafs’ third goal of the night at 19:42 of the first period. Tavares has points (3-1-4) in three consecutive games. He has registered at least one point (5 goals, 4 assists) in each of his last seven home games. Tonight’s game is his third multi-goal game of the season.

–       Auston Matthews recorded the primary assist on Tavares’ first period power play goal and later scored the second Toronto goal of the night on the power play at 11:19 of the second period before adding the fifth Maple Leafs goal of the game at 10:59 of the third period. Matthews has recorded multiple points in eight of his 12 games this season (12 goals, 7 assists). Tonight’s game is his fifth multi-goal game of the season.

–       Patrick Marleau scored the fourth Maple Leafs goal of the night on the power play at 1:53 of the second period. Marleau’s goal is his first career goal against the Sharks and gives him at least one goal scored against all 31 NHL teams, making him the 25th player to have at least one goal against all 31 teams, per NHL Stats. The goal is the 541st of his NHL career, tying Stan Mikita for 31st on the NHL’s all-time goal-scoring register.

–       Andreas Johnsson had the secondary assist on Marleau’s second period goal and later added the primary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. Johnsson has five points (3 goals, 2 assists) over his last three games.

–       Mitch Marner picked up the secondary assist on Tavares’ first period goal and later added the secondary assist on Matthews’ first period goal before recording the primary assist on Tavares’ second goal of the opening frame. Marner has assists (8) in three consecutive games. Marner’s three assists tie his season and career-highs for assists in a game. He is the second player in the NHL to reach 30 assists this season.

–       Morgan Rielly registered the primary assist on Matthews’ first period goal. Rielly has 11 assists in 13 games against Western Conference opponents this season.

–       Zach Hyman had the secondary assist on Tavares’ second goal of the first period. Hyman has points (1-11-2) in two consecutive games.

–       Tyler Ennis recorded the primary assist on Marleau’s second period goal. Ennis has assists (2) in two consecutive games. He has registered five (2 goals, 3 assists) of his seven points on home ice this season.

–       Kasperi Kapanen notched the secondary assist on Matthews’ third period goal. He has 11 points (7 goals, 4 assists) in 13 games against Western Conference opponents this season.

–       Frederik Andersen stopped 37 shots to earn his 14th victory of the season. Toronto is 10-3-0 when Andersen makes at least 30 saves this season.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)








13 (6)

13 (11)

15 (13)

41 (30)


9 (6)

8 (6)

12 (9)

29 (21)


SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)









24 (14)

27 (24)

23 (18)

74 (56)


17 (14)

17 (15)

16 (10)

50 (39)





–       The Maple Leafs are 9-5-0 at home this season.

–       Toronto’s all-time record is 23-21-5-2 in 51 games against the Sharks and 14-9-2-2 in 27 games played in Toronto.

–       Toronto is 10-3-0 against the Western Conference this season and 6-1-0 against the Pacific Division.

–       Tonight’s attendance is 19,362.



6 (Tavares)

Shot Attempts

8 (Matthews)

Faceoff Wins

14 (Tavares)

Faceoff Win Percentage

100% (Kapanen, Marner)


3 (Dermott, Kadri)

Blocked Shots

4 (Hainsey)


2 (Marner, Rielly)


20:49 (Hainsey)

Power Play TOI

2:06 (Marner, Tavares)

Shorthanded TOI

3:48 (Hainsey)


28 (Gardiner, Rielly, Zaitsev)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

58.6% (Johnsson – 15 for, 10 against)




–          The Maple Leafs were 1-for-3 on the penalty kill and 3-for-4 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 1-1-0 when allowing multiple power play goals this season and 4-0-0 when scoring multiple power play goals.

–          Toronto is 12-0-0 when scoring the first goal of the game.

–          The Maple Leafs are 11-0-0 when leading after one period and 13-0-0 when leading after two periods.

–          Toronto has a 11-3-0 record when outshot by their opponent.

–          The Maple Leafs are 3-1-0 in Wednesday games.



–          Toronto’s line of Connor Brown, Nazem Kadri and Patrick Marleau started 33.3 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest percentage among Toronto skaters.

–          Igor Ozhiganov was on the ice for a team-high 18 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5. Ozhiganov finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 58.1 percent (18 for, 13 against).

–          John Tavares won 86 percent (6 won, 1 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs and was 8-for-12 in the faceoff circle against San Jose’s Tomas Hertl.



–       Saturday, December 1, 7:00 p.m., at Minnesota Wild (Hockey Night in Canada, TSN 1050)

–       Tuesday, December 4, 7:30 p.m., at Buffalo Sabres (TSN4, FAN 590)

–       Thursday, December 6, 7:00 p.m., vs. Detroit Red Wings (Sportsnet Ontario, TSN 1050)

–       Saturday, December 8, 7:00 p.m., at Boston Bruins (Hockey Night in Canada, FAN 590)

–       Tuesday, December 11, 7:00 p.m., at Carolina Hurricanes (TSN4, FAN 590)




On tonight’s performance:

I thought we obviously scored goals. I don’t know if we skated as good as we normally skate, to be honest with you. I don’t know when the last time we had a real practice was. Ever since we came back from the west coast I don’t know if we’ve skated as good as we can. We have good players and found a way to play good enough and win. A big win for us against a good team.

On the decision to put Matthews between Johnsson and Kapanen:

I wanted to match [Kadri] and his unit against Pavelski. I just thought with Marleau there that gave me – now, Marleau can help out Matty too – but I thought I was going to give Matty an easier matchup tonight and, it didn’t go that way, but I thought that gave us the best. I think you’ll see more rotation once we get everyone back and Willy [Nylander] too, you’ll see more rotation just because it doesn’t really matter as much, if that makes any sense.

On what he saw from Matthews tonight:

I was just looking at it – Marner played 18:30, 24 shifts, 46 seconds [average time per shift] and [Matthews] played one shift less and played… 14:56 at 38 [seconds per shift]. So, obviously, he was getting on and off the ice, right? He should be too. Your first couple of games you get yourself going. I don’t know if he’s going to go this way for a bit or if he can maintain it, but obviously he’s a real talented guy, a big guy, a smart guy. He was good for us.

On trying to build a deep lineup:

We want to. I think you saw it last year in the spring. We lost in the first round and the team that beat us lost in the next round. The team that beat them lost too. If you want to play four rounds, you’ve got to have lots of depth and really good players. That’s what we’re trying to create here the best we can. Guys have been given a really good opportunity, we’ve had 12 forwards all year basically. It means a really good opportunity to state a case for themselves and, as we get people back, obviously things will change.

On if he’s had a line that can skate faster than Johnsson-Matthews-Kapanen:

I’d have to think about it, I don’t know for sure. I think we can play so much faster than we’re playing right now and I think we’re going to. We’ve got to get practicing a little bit here and get our legs back and get jumping. Obviously, when we get everyone on deck we’ll be a quick team. Willy can fly too.

 On Assistant Equipment Manager Bobby Hastings getting Marner a stick off the bench to set up the fourth goal:

You thought he was quick? We were giving it to him pretty good. 


On his cross-crease save on a first period penalty kill:

I was just trying to get across. They were passing it well up top and I was able to get it back door there. I just tried to slide over, get a piece of it. Special teams can be a big difference in the game and I think both teams did a good job on the power play.

On the shot by Matthews on his power play goal:

You guys saw it too. He’s got a pretty good shot, not much to say about that.


On the impact of Auston Matthews’ return:

Auston coming back is massive for our lineup. With him out I think we have four consecutive lines and definitely with him coming back it just makes us even stronger. He’s a big part of this team. I think everyone knows that and it’s just nice to have him back.

On what made the Maple Leafs power play so effective tonight:

I think we’re moving the puck quick. We were getting pucks to the net. I think, Auston coming back, he’s pretty deadly on the flank, everybody knows that. He’s got a pretty good shot. I think for us we were just trying to move it around really quick. We knew they were going to come with a lot of pressure. We just want to move it quick and try to outnumber them at the net and that’s what we did.


On his teammates making his return to the lineup easier:

I think you look up and down our lineup, it doesn’t matter what line you’re on, you’re going to play with guys who are skilled, work hard, can make plays and finish chances. Tonight was the first night I played with [Johnsson]. He’s a speedy guy, he’s skilled, he sees the play, his tenacity level is very high. Obviously, [Kapanen] and I are pretty familiar with each other from the start of the year. I think as we continue to play with each other we’ll just get better and better.

On how he felt on the ice tonight:

The first period you’ve just kind of got that energy, the emotions and stuff. The second period – after the first I felt terrible, the second period I didn’t feel too good and then kind of in the third period I got my legs under me and I was skating out there a little bit more. It’s kind of expected with that first game back. It’s tough to get into game shape just in practice. You play games and that’s how you get that back.


On the importance of scoring two early power play goals:

Obviously, scoring early, taking advantage of your first opportunity there. Obviously, it gets a good feeling on the bench and the locker room. Especially against a team that’s coming in on a back-to-back, to be able to pounce early and put the pressure on them and gain some momentum right away is big. Great job by everyone. I had the easy part.

On Auston Matthews’ return:

His skillset is no secret. I think you can see the last few days, he’s had great jump in practice, feeling good knowing that he was close to returning. You can just see what makes him a special player. For me, it’s great to be around it and I can pick things up and learn things from him and hopefully I can do the same and we all can push each other to continue to get better. When you’re around guys like him with his talent and his drive, it drives the team, it drives people individually and it’s fun to play with. It was a great way to start and a great night for him. 

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