Toronto Maple Leafs (7-4-0-0 SU, 5-6 PL, 30-35-12 O/U) vs. San Jose Sharks (5-5-0-0 SU, 4-6 PL, 3-6-1 O/U)
NHL: Monday, October 30, 2017, SAP Center, San Jose, California, 10:30 pm ET
Lines: San Jose -110, Toronto +100; Over/Under: 6
It’s an inter-conference tilt out in Silicon City. The Toronto Maple Leafs kick off a road swing out west as they take on the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night. Toronto lost for the third time in four games as they were doubled up 4-2 at home by the Flyers Saturday night. San Jose went 3-2 on a five game road trip as they beat Buffalo 3-2 in the finale Saturday. The Sharks have won nine straight meetings between the teams, including a 3-1 win here in the last matchup on February 28 in the most recent matchup.
Toronto Maple Leafs Look to Stop Recent Struggles
Toronto started the season 7-1-0 but has lost three of their last four games in part due to shaky goaltending. The Maple Leafs are third in the Atlantic Division, five points behind Tampa Bay with a game in hand. The Leafs are 1st in the league in scoring with 4.1 goals per game and 29th in goals allowed as they give up 3.6 goals per contest. Toronto is 6th in the league on the power play, converting 26.2 percent of their chances. The Leafs stand 9th on the penalty kill as they successfully kill off 83.3 percent of their shorthanded situations.
The Maple Leafs have to be better in their own end as you’re not going to score four or five goals a night every night. Toronto needs to figure out how to stop giving up odd man rushes and screened shots that don’t get seen until they’re in the net. The Maple Leafs outshot the Flyers 10-6 in the opening period Saturday but trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes. Nazem Kadri opened the scoring with his fifth of the year at 9:07 of the opening period. Auston Matthews and Josh Leivo assisted on the goal. Toronto then gave up two unanswered to fall behind. In the second period, the Maple Leafs were outshot 16-8 and outscored 2-1 to trail 4-2 after 40 minutes. After giving up a power play goal to fall behind 3-1, Kadri scored his second of the game and sixth of the year at 13:02 to make it a 3-2 game. Connor Brown and Ron Hainsey assisted on the marker. The momentum didn’t last as the Flyers reestablished their two goal margin just 2:18 later. In the third period, Toronto had a 12-8 edge in shots but neither team scored, sending the Leafs to the loss. Frederik Andersen made 26 saves in the loss for Toronto.
San Jose Sharks Look to Climb Over .500
on their five game trip as they knocked off the Sabres Saturday. The Sharks have won five of their last seven entering this contest as they’re trying to build some momentum. San Jose is 22nd in the league with a 2.7 goal per game average. The Sharks are above average defensively, ranking 7th in the league with 2.6 goals per game allowed. San Jose is 11th in the league on the power play as they convert 20 percent of their chances with the man advantage. The Sharks are 5th in penalty killing as they successfully navigate 88.4 percent of their shorthanded situations.
The Sharks battled for the full 60 minutes and skated off with a road win over the Sabres to even their record on the year. San Jose put together a solid effort to close out the trip and looks to maintain some momentum as they head home here. In the first period Saturday, the Sharks were outshot 11-8 but skated off with a 1-0 lead. Joonas Donskoi scored the only goal of the period with his third of the year, unassisted, at 9:12, just nine seconds after exiting the penalty box after serving a minor for slashing. The second period saw San Jose outshoot Buffalo 16-11 but get outscored 2-1 to head to the dressing room tied at two after 40 minutes. After giving up two unanswered goals to fall behind 2-1, Chris Tierney tied the game with his second of the year at 19:48 of the period. Melker Karlsson and Timo Meier assisted on that goal. In the third period, the Sharks were outshot 11-7 but came up with the lone goal of the period to get the win. Logan Couture blasted a shot past Buffalo goalie Robin Lehner at 16:48 for the game winner. His eighth of the year was assisted by Tomas Hertl and Justin Braun. Aaron Dell made 31 saves for the Sharks, who were outshot 33-31 in the game.
- Maple Leafs are 5-0 in their last 5 Monday games
- Maple Leafs are 4-0 in their last 4 vs. Western Conference
- Sharks are 1-6 in their last 7 games following a win
San Jose has climbed back to .500 after a sluggish start while Toronto has dropped three of four since scorching out of the gates. The Maple Leafs have had issues defensively as they’ve allowed six goals twice and four goals once in their last four games. San Jose has been good defensively this season but they’ve had their problems putting the puck in the net. The Sharks are glad to be home but Toronto’s firepower carries them to the victory here to kick off the road trip.