Logan Couture had two goals and an assist for the San Jose Sharks in Friday’s 5-3 win at Toronto. The Sharks have won their first four games of the season. San Jose goaltender Adin Hill stopped 30 of 33 shots for the victory.
The Toronto Maple Leafs controlled play for good portions of the game but did not have the goaltending quality to match San Jose. Michael Hutchinson allowed four goals on 30 shots in the loss.
After there were no goals scored in the first period, the floodgates opened in the second period and the first three goals came within one minute and 13 seconds.
San Jose opened the scoring at 2:31 of the second period when Sharks captain Logan Couture knocked in a rebound after a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot eluded Maple Leafs goaltender Michael Hutchinson. The puck caught Hutchinson high and went into the air. Vlasic grabbed the rebound and attempted to wrap it around the net, but the puck went into the crease, where Couture had inside body position on Maple Leafs centre Jason Spezza and Couture put the puck into the net.
The Maple Leafs kept their fourth line on the ice after that goal and centre Jason Spezza tied the game after a scramble play in front of the San Jose net. Constant pressure by Wayne Simmonds and Pierre Engvall led to Spezza spinning and firing a wrist shot past Adin Hill at 3:27 of the second period.
San Jose reclaimed the lead 17 second later as Timo Meier gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead. He fired a wrist shot from the boards near the right-wing hash marks and the shot somehow got through Maple Leafs goaltender Michael Hutchinson. By any definition, it was a bad goal to surrender.
Shortly after the midpoint of the second period, Maple Leafs right winger Ondrej Kase took off on a breakaway, faked forehand to backhand to tie the game at two.
Sharks defenceman Erik Karlsson was the recipient of good fortune to get San Jose back on top. Maple Leafs centre Auston Matthews tried a blind clearing attempt that was kept in by Sharks defenceman Jacob Middleton. Middleton passed across the blue line to Karlsson before Karlsson launched a slap shot over Michael Hutchinson’s blocker to give San Jose a 3-2 lead at 11:55 of the second period.
25 seconds into the third period, a Maple Leafs defensive breakdown led to an opportunity for Sharks rookie winger Jonathan Dahlen. Logan Couture won a battle for the puck in the corner with T.J. Brodie and found Dahlen in slot, giving the Sharks a 4-2 lead.
Toronto scored at 13:39 of the third period, when a William Nylander shot went off Hill’s shoulder then bounced off Maple Leafs centre John Tavares and Sharks defenceman Jacob Middleton before landing in the net.
Late in the third period, Toronto had a chance to tie when Auston Matthews blasted a slap shot from the top of the circles, but Hill made a spectacular glove save with 1:18 remaining in the period.
Couture finished the scoring with an empty net goal with 39 seconds left on the clock.
The Maple Leafs record drops to 2-2-1 and they will be back in action Saturday, taking on the Penguins in Pittsburgh.
More analysis and quotes from media availability coming to ToHN shortly.
Not a member? Subscribe to TorontoHockeyNow today and get $10 dollars off our subscription fee of $39.99 for access to all four Canadian sites. Use promo code “Maple Leafs” to get $10 off!