By BEN ROSS
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — William Nylander had two goals and an assist, Martin Jones made 23 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs handed San Jose its 11th straight loss, beating the Sharks 4-1 on Saturday to open a home-and-home set.
Mitchell Marner and Calle Jarnkrok also scored and Tyler Bertuzzi had two assists to help the Maple Leafs sweep a three-game California swing.
“I think we’ve done a great job sinking into tight games and trying to take away the chances for the opponents,” Nylander said. “They had some tonight. Jonesy played great. I think we’re building in the right direction.”
Mikael Granlund scored for San Jose. The NHL-worst Sharks are 9-28-3, also dropping 11 straight games to start the season.
“I didn’t really love our compete tonight,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “I thought we got out-worked and out-competed too often tonight. It got better through some stretches, but they have more talent than we do. Nobody’s hiding from that. But we need to be way more consistent with our compete in a game of this magnitude.”
The teams will meet again Tuesday night in Toronto.
The Maple Leafs are 11-3-5 on the road and 20-10-7 overall.
“Great job all three games just committing ourselves,” Marner said. “A couple of those teams really didn’t give us much. We had to work for it. That’s what you want to see out of your team.”
Marner opened the scoring with his 15th goal of the season on a two-man advantage in the first period. Jarnkrok added his 10th late in the second to make it 2-0.
Nylander added an insurance goal in the third before Granlund got the Sharks on the board. Nylander answered with another goal, his 21st of the season.
“It felt like we were in control of that game the whole way,” Jones said. “We played really well. It wasn’t really till the third that they kind of had some sustained pressure and then a few chances, but we’ve been playing really solid.”
Jones, who played for San Jose from 2015-21, won his third straight start to improve to to 7-3-0.
“He’s been great on this trip,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It’s been a little bit of homecoming for him going back to California. Obviously, we’ve leaned on him a lot and he’s been tremendous.”
Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 29 shots. Toronto outshot San Jose 33-24, including 18-3 in the first period.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl