Burns scores in OT, lifts Sharks to 5-4 win over Maple Leafs
TORONTO (AP) — As well as San Jose is playing on the road this season, some of the Sharks players have been wondering why that same success hasn’t been there at home.
Brent Burns banked the winning goal off Toronto center Peter Holland’s leg 2:13 into overtime, lifting the San Jose Sharks to a 5-4 win over the Maple Leafs on Thursday night.
Joe Pavelski, Patrick Marleau, Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Matt Nieto scored in regulation for San Jose, and Martin Jones had 28 saves. The Sharks improved to 12-5-1 on the road — for an NHL-leading 25 points away from home.
“We don’t really beat ourselves on the road,” Pavelski said. “It has been a tough stretch. We love playing at home, but we definitely expect to be better. We have to find a solution.”
The winning play in this game was a heads-up move by Burns, who set up Pavelski earlier and then ended the game when his centering pass went off Holland and in during the 3-on-3 extra period.
“I don’t know if Burns meant to do that or not but it seemed like he did and he made a good play right off my shin pad and in,” Holland said. “Tough way to lose it.”
Nieto scored the tying goal with 8:11 left in the third period.
Holland, Leo Komarov, James van Riemsdyk and Michael Grabner scored for the Maple Leafs, who played their third overtime game in a row and 10th of the season.
Jonathan Bernier allowed three goals on 27 shots after replacing injured goaltender Garret Sparks and fell to 0-8-3 this season.
“I don’t know what I’ve done wrong to someone because I can’t get that one bounce,” Bernier said. “I thought I made the saves I had to make. Obviously you want to stop all of it, but I felt pretty good about my game.”
Sparks left the game midway through the first after allowing goals to Pavelski and Marleau. Toronto coach Mike Babcock said the lower-body injury to Sparks and upper-body injury to forward Nick Spaling appear to be “long term.”
With James Reimer already out with a groin injury, that means the net belongs to Bernier, beginning Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings.
“He’s starting the next game,” Babcock said. “He’s got to dig in, and he’s got to compete and he’s got to battle and he’s got to find his mojo. He gets an opportunity now that he might not have gotten, so work and keep it.”
A tripping penalty on Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau opened the door for the Sharks to take a 1-0y lead 2:01 into the game. Six seconds into the power play, Burns fed a wide-open Pavelski for his 15th goal of the season.
Pavelski moved ahead of Steven Stamkos for the second-most goals in the NHL since the 2012-13 lockout with his 109th — trailing only Alex Ovechkin (150).
With Leafs defenseman Matt Hunwick in the penalty box for hooking, the Sharks needed a 30 seconds to score their second power-play goal of the night. Marleau fired a shot through Roman Polak’s legs that beat Sparks clean with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the first.
Sparks bolted to the bench immediately after Marleau’s goal on San Jose’s 15th shot and went down the tunnel.
About 3:16 after Bernier entered the game, Holland took advantage of a turnover by Vlasic to pull the Maple Leafs to 2-1.
Komarov tied the score 4:50 into the second, extending his career-best goal total to 11. Toronto took the lead with 46 seconds left in the period as van Riemsdyk beat Jones from below the goal line.
Joffrey Lupul had a chance to make it 4-2 with 0.9 seconds left with a wide-open net, but clanked his shot off the crossbar.
Grabner did give Toronto a two-goal lead at 1:59 of the third with the Sharks struggling in their own zone.
Vlasic scored through traffic to get a goal back for San Jose just over a minute later.
Bernier stopped Chris Tierney on a penalty shot that again brought the best out of the crowd.
“I thought my depth was good, angles, a lot of shots that hit right (in) the crest,” Bernier said. “I thought it was another step in the right direction tonight.”
NOTES: With an assist on Komarov’s goal, Frankie Corrado recorded his first point with Toronto in his second game since being claimed off waivers. ... Toronto native Barclay Goodrow was a healthy scratch for San Jose.