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SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California Attendance: 16,129
Leafs hope to extend California streak against Sharks
Toronto Maple Leafs at San Jose Sharks
- Toronto beat Vancouver, 4-2, on Saturday, and has now won three straight and four of its last five games (4-1-0). The Maple Leafs have scored at least two goals in 17 of their last 18 games.
- The Sharks recently lost five straight games, the last four in a six day span at New Jersey (2-1), NY Rangers (3-2), NY Islanders (4-1) and Philadelphia (4-2). Since then, however, San Jose has reeled off back-to-back wins over New Jersey (3-2) and Pittsburgh (5-0 on Saturday). The Sharks have not won 3+ consecutive games since November 21-25 (3 straight).
- Toronto has won four straight games against the Sharks, including a 4-1 triumph in Toronto earlier this season (October 25, 2019). The Maple Leafs have allowed at least three goals in six consecutive trips to San Jose.
- The Maple Leafs trio of Auston Matthews (9), John Tavares (8) and Zach Hyman (7) combined for 24 goals in February, tied for most by any trio last month (Boston's trio of Pastrnak, Bergeron and Coyle also with 24).
- Toronto defenseman Martin Marincin scored one of Toronto's four goals versus Vancouver on Saturday. It was Marincin's first goal of the season, and just the fifth of his 224-game career. This is Marincin's seventh NHL season and he has never scored more than one goal in any single season.
- Forty-year old Joe Thornton scored one of San Jose's five goals on Saturday versus Pittsburgh. Thornton has three goals in his last five skates, and potting just two goals in his first 60 games of the season.
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The Toronto Maple Leafs will try for their 12th consecutive win against a team from California when they visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.
The Maple Leafs having been playing well overall heading into the three-game California swing, winning their past three games to move five points ahead of the Florida Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division.
Toronto has won four straight one other time this season, a six-game winning streak from Dec. 14-27.
"We've really bought into the way we want to play lately," Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen told reporters following a 4-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. "Guys have been doing some great jobs blocking shots. We've been playing really tight as a group, so our resiliency has been great."
The Sharks entered Monday 12 points out of the final playoff spot in the West, but they're also playing well of late and will try to win three in a row for the first time since Nov. 21-25.
San Jose is coming off a 5-0 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, handing them their sixth straight defeat.
San Jose goalie Martin Jones, who had 30 saves against Pittsburgh for his second shutout of the season, figures to be back in net against the Maple Leafs.
Jones has two shutouts in 10 career starts against Toronto. He's 7-2-1 overall with a .927 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against average against the Maple Leafs in his career.
Jones struggled in October and December and made just three starts in January as Aaron Dell took over the No. 1 role.
Jones bounced back last month with a 39-save shutout at the Minnesota Wild on Feb. 15, and then allowed a combined seven goals in his next three outings before the shutout against the Penguins, marking his first back-to-back wins since the end of November.
"He has been good for a long stretch here," Sharks captain Logan Couture said. "We're confident in him. He looks confident in the net. He's making tough saves look easy. ... It energizes our group when he's playing like this."
Jones told reporters that his down time in January allowed him to get back to the basics with goalie coach Evgeni Nabokov.
"It's nice to play and get in a little bit of a rhythm, but it could have been a good thing to have me get some of that practice time in," Jones said. "I've played a lot of hockey over the last five years. I just wanted to work hard in practice and make sure I was ready when I did get the call."
Toronto has held each of its past three opponents below 30 shots on goal, and the Maple Leafs limited the Sharks to 17 shots in a 4-1 win in Toronto on Oct. 25.
The Sharks likely will look to forward Evander Kane to spark the offense.
He has four points (one goal, three assists) in the past two games, giving him back-to-back multi-point games for the first time since a three-game stretch from Feb. 7-11, 2019.
--Field Level Media
Updated March 2, 2020