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Marner’s 4-point effort leads Maple Leafs over Sharks 7-1, extending win streak

TORONTO (AP) — Mitchell Marner had two goals and two assists as the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the San Jose Sharks 7-1 on Tuesday, earning a fourth straight win.

The win streak comes on the heels of a three-game skid, with Toronto also snapping its three-game home losing skid Tuesday.

“What we’ve always known we’re capable of,” Keefe said regarding what he’s learned of his team in the past couple of weeks. “We’ve just found a groove.

“Things just kind of snap into place over 82 games. You snap into one of these stretches, things are going good, you’re in a groove and you get some stretches where you just can’t quite get it out of sorts.”

Morgan Rielly, Auston Matthews, Pontus Holmberg, Jake McCabe and Nicholas Robertson also scored for Toronto, which snapped a three-game home losing skid. Martin Jones made 22 saves.

“It’s just been a focus of ours,” Rielly said of the team’s recent defensive performances in 5-on-5 play. “Up until the Christmas break, I don’t think we were playing that well defensively and even though we came back after the break and we lost all three games … we made strides.”

William Nylander contributed three assists, with McCabe dishing out two and Rielly adding one as well.

Henry Thrun had the lone marker for San Jose, which had its losing streak extended to 12 games.

Kaapo Kahkonen surrendered four goals on 20 shots, while Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 22 of 25 shots in relief.

“Arguably our worst game of the year, from start to finish, every facet of the game, really,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “Not one guy really had their game tonight and it certainly showed.”

Rielly opened the scoring with 3:12 left in the first period. Nylander had two defenders on him at the blue line but squeezed a pass through to an open Rielly in the slot, and he fired it over Kahkonen’s right shoulder.

Matthews doubled the lead 34 seconds later on the power play. He finished a pretty give-and-go play with Marner, blasting a one-timer past Kahkonen’s right shoulder from the right faceoff circle.

Marner joined the party 54 seconds into the second period. While being pushed away from the net by Mario Ferraro, Marner was able to tip in a point shot by McCabe.

Holmberg made it 4-0 just over a minute later. He was sprung into the offensive zone by Bobby McMann, and while holding off Kyle Burroughs with his left arm, Holmberg beat Kahkonen with a shot using just his right arm.

Kahkonen was pulled immediately after and replaced by Blackwood with 17:54 remaining in the frame.

Thrun put the Sharks on the board 7:21 into the second on the power play. He redirected Mikael Granlund’s shot from the right faceoff circle while in the slot.

McCabe bumped Toronto’s edge at 1:27 of the third period. He fired in a one-timer on a backhand feed from Marner.

Marner netted his second four minutes into the frame on the power play and Robertson padded the lead at 5:54 also on the power play.


Sharks: Visit Montreal on Thursday

Maple Leafs: Visit the New York Islanders on Thursday.



Article Topic Follows: ap-california-news

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