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Couture, Meier key Sharks' early-season statement win, 5-3 vs. Maple Leafs

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

TORONTO — Timo Meier and Logan Couture continued their early-season chemistry together and Adin Hill had another solid night to lead the San Jose Sharks to their biggest win so far this year.

Couture had two goals and an assist, Meier had a goal and an assist and Hill finished with 30 saves as the Sharks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs, 5-3, on Friday at Scotiabank Arena to improve to 4-0-0 this season.

Erik Karlsson also scored in a frantic second period and Jonathan Dahlen, the third member of the Sharks’ top line with Meier and Couture, had the game-winner at the 2:25 mark of the third period as San Jose swept the Eastern Canadian portion of their five-game road trip.

The Sharks beat Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto all on the same trip for the first time since Dec. 2016. San Jose now plays in Boston on Sunday and closes the trip Tuesday in Nashville.

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— STATEMENT WIN: There might have been some skeptics — and understandably so — about the Sharks’ success so far this season. After all, their wins had come against three teams that had a combined record of 3-9-1 as of Friday morning.

 

The Sharks gave up a few more high-danger scoring chances, 12, per Natural Stat Trick, that they would have liked through two periods against Toronto. But the level of compete that they had shown through their first four games remained intact.

Playing in their third game in four nights and their fourth in seven, the Sharks were largely dominated in the first 10 minutes of the first period but went into the first intermission tied 0-0.

That was key.

Matthews, the center who missed the Leafs’ first three games with a wrist injury, had eight shots on goal in 22:53 of ice time in Toronto’s 2-1 overtime loss to the New York Rangers on Monday.

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