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Logan Couture's two-point night leads Sharks past Maple Leafs 4-1

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO - Logan Couture had a goal and an assist as the San Jose Sharks dispatched the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 on Thursday night.

Couture's goal early in the second period was the eventual winner for San Jose (35-28-8), which ended a two-game skid. Tomas Hertl, Melker Karlsson and Tommy Wingels also scored for the Sharks, as Antti Niemi made 27 saves for the win.

Joe Thornton added two assists for San Jose.

Jake Gardiner was the lone scorer for Toronto (27-39-6), which has dropped four straight. Jonathan Bernier stopped 38 shots.

Hertl opened the scoring for the Sharks on a costly turnover by the Leafs. An errant Toronto pass went deep into the defensive zone thanks to a line-change mixup. Chris Tierney beat defenceman Eric Brewer to the puck, skated behind the net and fed Hertl for the easy deflection past Bernier.

San Jose dominated play in the first, outshooting the Leafs 21-8.

Couture scored an impressive power-play goal to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Standing in front of Bernier's crease he coralled a pass from Thornton, put it on his forehand and into the net while two Toronto defenders checked him.

Gardiner wired a wrist shot from near the blue-line past Niemi at the 8:54 mark of the second period to make it 2-1. Niemi was screened by a cluster of Sharks defenders trying to cover Richard Panik in the slot.

Thornton continued to dismantle the Leafs defence, feeding Karlsson from behind the net. Bernier stood no chance on the play, as Karlsson was completely unmarked.

Niemi made a spectacular blocker save near the midway point of the second, sliding from his left post to the centre of the crease to knock away a shot from Andrew MacWilliam in the slot.

San Jose scored again with six seconds left in the second period as Matt Nieto lobbed a slow wrist shot from the faceoff circle that was deflected by Wingels over Bernier's left shoulder to make it 4-1.

Notes: Leafs forward Nazem Kadri served the first game of his four-game suspension. Toronto centre Peter Holland sat out with a lower-body injury. T.J. Brennan was a healthy scratch. ... Scott Hannan and John Scott were scratched for San Jose. ... Announced attendance was 18,926.


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