SAN JOSE, Calif. — Brent Burns started a four-goal, second-period outburst with a highlight-reel move and Matt Nieto scored a short-handed goal following a botched Toronto line change in the Sharks' 7-0 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday for San Jose's most lopsided shutout since 2001.
Tomas Hertl added two goals and Joe Pavelski, Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi also scored to help the Sharks end a lacklustre homestand on a bright note. San Jose went 2-3 during a two-week stretch at the Shark Tank and has the worst home record in the league at 6-12-0.
Martin Jones made 28 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and San Jose won its seventh straight against Toronto. The Sharks' last 7-0 win was over Chicago on Feb. 14, 2001.
Jonathan Bernier made 24 saves for the Maple Leafs and Toronto lost the final two games of its three-game California swing. Bernier had allowed just three goals in winning his past three starts before struggling against San Jose.
It started with Burns' impressive individual effort. He passed himself the puck at centre ice and then skated past Dion Phaneuf in the Toronto zone before beating Bernier high to the glove side for his 17th goal.
It looked as if Toronto had a chance to get even on the power play, but a bad change did the Maple Leafs in. Burns cleared the puck from the defensive zone and the Leafs started to change thinking the puck would go back to Bernier.
But the puck stopped halfway into the Toronto zone along the boards. Tommy Wingels retrieved it and fed Nieto for the easy tap-in goal that made it 2-0.
Hertl then set up Pavelski from behind the net for the third goal and knocked in a rebound of Justin Braun's point shot later in the period to make it 4-0 and match San Jose's highest-scoring period of the season. The Sharks also scored four times in the third in a 5-3 win at Columbus on Nov. 22, with the final goal coming into an empty net.
The Sharks turned it into a laugher in the third with goals from Karlsson, Donskoi and Hertl. San Jose finally found the depth scoring it had been lacking. Hertl had two goals in his previous 34 games, Nieto had one goal in 19 games, Donskoi one goal in 20 games and Karlsson had one goal in 18 games.
The Sharks had a few bad giveaways in a scoreless first period but didn't pay the price because Jones came up with big stops against Joffrey Lupul and P.A. Parenteau.
San Jose's best chance came in the final minute on a power play when Brent Burns' shot trickled past Bernier into the crease but Byron Froese managed to keep it from crossing the goal line.
NOTES: This was Toronto's most lopsided shutout loss since an 8-0 loss at Boston on March 19, 2012. ... Justin Braun had a career-high three assists for San Jose. ... The team that has scored first has won all 18 games in San Jose this season. ... Wingels fought Phaneuf in the second period in response to a hard hit on Logan Couture near the boards.
Josh Dubow, The Associated Press