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Sharks make it nine straight on road

by Brian Compton
It really doesn't matter where the San Jose Sharks are playing these days. They just keep winning.

Using Dany Heatley's stick, Ryane Clowe broke a 2-2 tie with less than seven minutes left in the third period and Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves as San Jose made it nine in a row on the road with a 3-2 victory against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Monday night.

Dan Boyle and Joe Pavelski also had goals for the Sharks (39-11-9), who will look to improve to 4-0 on their five-game road trip on Wednesday night when they visit Columbus.

"I guess it goes to show, it's not the player, it's the stick," a joking Clowe said. "I didn't think there was any goals left in it, but there was one left. I'm going to have to hold on to that one."

Tyler Bozak and Phil Kessel scored for the Maple Leafs, who came close to tying it in the final minute of regulation, only to be denied by Nabokov.

"Nabby's given us an opportunity to win basically every game he's played in this year," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "At times, you almost take it for granted."

Monday marked the first goals Giguere has allowed since arriving in Toronto via trade from Anaheim. He had notched back-to-back shutouts in his first two outings as a Leaf.

"I thought we outplayed a pretty good team," Giguere said. "They're obviously one of the better teams in this League, and being as young as we are, being able to outplay them is a really good sign for us."

Bozak broke a scoreless tie midway through the first when he took a feed from Kessel and beat Nabokov for his third goal of the season. But the Sharks found their legs in the second period and responded with goals by Boyle and Pavelski and held a 2-1 lead until Kessel tied the game in the final minute of the period. Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle picked up his 400th career assist on Kessel's tally.

"We weren't very good in the first period … we were in sand," McLellan said. "We tried to spark the team somewhat by shuffling lines around. We eventually found a way to win. It wasn't our best effort by any means. I thought we looked slow and sluggish, for whatever reason."

Christian Hanson and Fredrik Sjostrom were both scratched with what was alternately reported to be either the flu or food poisoning, prompting the Leafs to promote 19-year-old Nazem Kadri. The seventh pick in the 2009 Entry Draft received 17:26 of ice time and was a minus-1. He did not record a shot on goal. He has 26 goals and 66 points in 42 games with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League.

"He skated well," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said of Kadri. "This was a great opportunity for him, to see what the NHL is all about. He had a lot of turnovers. And things he can probably get away with in junior hockey, you can't get away with in our League, let alone against a top team in the League."

Material from wire services and broadcast media was used in this report.

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