EditorsNote: fixes “Andersen” in 13th graf
Heed helps Sharks top Maple Leafs
SAN JOSE, Calif. — While Norris Trophy winner Brent Burns is still without a goal, rookie Tim Heed is picking up the slack from the San Jose Sharks’ blue line.
Heed’s power-play goal broke a tie early in the third period, and the Sharks spoiled Patrick Marleau’s return with a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Heed scored his second goal of the season at 4:11 with a slap shot from above the right circle. It was San Jose’s only conversion on four power plays, and it was a result of Timo Meier drawing a retaliatory cross-check from former Sharks player Dominic Moore.
“Their defenseman was a bit more on the strong side there, so I was looking on the far side,” Heed said. “I hit it pretty good, and it was a good feeling.”
San Jose forward Joel Ward scored his first goal of the season into an empty net at 17:47 of the third period before Toronto’s Nazem Kadri redirected in his seventh goal of the season at 18:50 to draw the visitors back within one goal.
The Leafs (7-5-0) could not find the equalizer, and they lost for the fourth time in five games.
“San Jose did a great job of ... putting pressure on us in our zone, and we turned the puck over way too much,” Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. “Part because they were working hard and coming at us from behind. That made them quicker. We never got on top of them.”
Both teams had to travel over three times zones and had just one day of rest after each having played on Saturday. The Sharks (6-5-0) found their legs a lot faster than the Leafs.
“I think the road trip we learned a lot about ourselves, how we need to play and what guys can give us,” Sharks captain Joe Pavelski said. “Now it was really good to see to come back first game after a long trip like that to play probably our best game of the season.”
The emotionally charged night began with a video tribute to ex-Shark Marleau, who after 19 seasons in San Jose signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal with the Maple Leafs in the offseason. Marleau was held off the score sheet but managed two shots.
“It was humbling,” Marleau said afterward of the fans’ reaction. “Extremely special to be honored like that by the Sharks and the fans. I’ll never forget it.”
San Jose scored the only goal of the second period to leave the game tied 1-1 after 40 minutes.
After a Toronto turnover in the defensive zone, Heed pumped a drive toward the net that Joe Pavelski tipped past Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen at 7:58 the level the score.
Pavelski’s third goal of the season capped a sequence that included a second assist from Joe Thornton, who registered his 1,399th career point. That puts Thornton alone in 20th place on the NHL’s career scoring list. Dale Hawerchuk is next at 19th with 1,409 points.
The Sharks outshot the Leafs 12-8 in the first period, but the visitors scored the only goal.
Auston Matthews picked up a loose puck at the side of the crease, skated around Sharks defenseman Justin Braun, who was tied up with Leafs forward Zach Hyman, and finished by tucking his ninth goal of the season between the goalie Martin Jones’ pads at 12:14.
Jones finished with 16 saves, while Andersen stopped 36 shots in defeat.
“It sucks we couldn’t get a win for Patrick,” Matthews said. “Obviously he’s a new teammate, he’s only been here for a couple months, but he’s already made a huge impact on all of us. We’ll be able to get another shot at these guys later in the season so we can get that win for him.”
NOTES: The Sharks have won each of their past 10 meetings with Toronto, and they have lost only once to the Maple Leafs in the clubs’ past 15 contests. ... San Jose D Brent Burns matched his season high with eight shots on goal. ... Leafs LW James van Riemsdyk (lower body) and LW Matt Martin (upper body) returned after missing one game each. ... LW Josh Leivo, RW Kasperi Kapanen and D Connor Carrick did not dress for Toronto. ... Sharks D Paul Martin (lower body) missed his ninth straight game, but he is expected to rejoin practice this week. ... LW Barclay Goodrow, RW Jannik Hansen and D Dylan DeMelo were healthy scratches for the Sharks. ... San Jose’s five-game homestand continues Wednesday vs. Nashville. ... Toronto next plays Wednesday at Anaheim.