Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Antti Niemi made 27 saves to help the San Jose Sharks pick up two key points in the playoff chase with a 4-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
San Jose entered the day six points out of playoff position as it ended a two- game losing streak. The Sharks have five games left on their seven-game road trip, their longest of the season.
"You can't look too far ahead and you're definitely not looking behind you. You've just got to stay in the moment. Enjoy this, but get ready tomorrow and then get ready for the next day," Sharks center Joe Thornton said.
Tomas Hertl, Logan Couture, Melker Karlsson and Tommy Wingels scored the San Jose goals.
The Maple Leafs lost for the fourth time in a row despite getting 38 saves from Jonathan Bernier. Jake Gardiner scored their only goal.
"We're probably a junior team against an NHL team tonight," Bernier said.
Toronto attempted an ill-timed line change which lead to San Jose's first goal. While Morgan Rielly tried leaving the ice, Chris Tierney used his speed to retrieve the puck dumped into Toronto's zone. He circled around the net and set up Hertl for a redirection in front of the net.
Early in the second period, Couture extended San Jose's lead. He took a pass along the goal line, quickly spun around and shot the puck through Bernier's pads.
The Maple Leafs got on the board in the second period when Gardiner's wrister found its way through traffic into the back of the net.
San Jose did not need much time to respond. Joe Thornton picked up his 900th career assist when he set up Karlsson for an open shot right in front of Bernier.
Wingels was credited with his 15th goal of the season with six seconds remaining in the middle period when Matt Nieto's shot from the slot deflected off Wingels' midsection in front of the net.
San Jose swept the season series ... Thornton is second among active players in assists behind Florida's Jaromir Jagr ... The Sharks were 1-for-5 on the power play while Toronto failed to convert on two chances.