Rookie defenceman Tim Heed scored a tiebreaking goal on the power play early in the third period to spoil Patrick Marleau’s return to San Jose by leading the Sharks to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Heed scored on a slap shot from just above the faceoff circle with 15:49 to play and assisted on Joe Pavelski’s second-period goal to give the Sharks their 10th straight win over Toronto. Joel Ward added an empty-net goal for San Jose.
This time it came with Marleau in a Maple Leafs sweater as he returned to the arena he called home for his first 19 seasons in the NHL. Marleau left as a free agent this summer to sign an $ 18.75 million US, three-year contract with Toronto.
Marleau finished with two shots on goal but didn’t record a point as Martin Jones made 16 saves for San Jose to improve to 7-0 against the Maple Leafs. Jones has allowed just 10 goals in those starts.
Auston Matthews scored in the first period and Nazem Kadri added a goal with 1:10 remaining to cut San Jose’s lead to 3-2. The Maple Leafs have lost four of five and were held to only two shots on goal in a span of more than 31 minutes in the second and third periods.
Frederik Andersen made 36 saves but had no chance on Heed’s slapper that went into the top corner after Timo Meier had drawn a cross-checking penalty from Dominic Moore early in the period.
The night started with an emotional pregame ceremony for Marleau. The Sharks played a video tribute to Marleau and he received a loud ovation that lasted nearly 90 seconds from the fans, who chanted “Pat-ty! Pat-ty!”
Thank you, Patrick Marleau. pic.twitter.com/X4nBIrOMK2
Players from both teams tapped their sticks in appreciation as the spotlight shined on Marleau and he waved to the crowd.
No words necessary. pic.twitter.com/WdiZ8lBw9m
The Sharks then controlled play for the first two periods but were unable to translate their 25-11 advantage in shots on goal to a lead on the scoreboard.
The Maple Leafs struck first midway through the first period when Matthews beat Logan Couture to the rebound of a point shot from Nikita Zaitsev and knocked it into the open net for his ninth goal.
San Jose tied it midway through the second when Pavelski deflected Heed’s point shot past Andersen for his third goal.