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Hertl's late goal leads Sharks past Leafs 3-1

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks got just what they wanted Tuesday night: a late win to maintain their cushion in the Pacific Division and a key player to provide a boost for their playoff push.

Tomas Hertl scored the tiebreaking goal with 1:24 remaining and the Sharks beat the Toronto Maple Leafs for the ninth straight time, 3-1 on Tuesday night.

San Jose made news off the ice as well, announcing a trade during the second intermission to acquire forward Jannik Hansen from Vancouver for prospect Nikolay Goldobin and a conditional draft pick. The trade deadline in Wednesday.

"He's going to help us," forward Logan Couture said. "He's a guy that's very difficult to play against as someone who is on the ice. He's got speed. He's a guy that fits in our lineup and I think this team, this organization, is in win-now mode. So it's a great pickup."

Patrick Marleau started the winning play when he skated in alone on three defenders. Marleau fed Hertl, who then beat Frederik Andersen with a quick shot to the short side for his eighth goal of the season.

"I wasn't sure if it was in, but Patty made a great play to hold the puck and free guys in the O-zone," Hertl said. "He gives the pass and I just shoot and score."

Brenden Dillon also scored and Joe Pavelski added an empty-netter off Joe Thornton's 999th career assist to help the first-place Sharks snap a three-game home losing streak to remain five points ahead of second-place Edmonton in the Pacific Division. Martin Jones made 20 saves.

But the Sharks were just as excited about their new addition. Hansen is a speedy winger who adds depth for San Jose.

"Anytime you're a team that's adding pieces like that and guys that can come in and help, it's encouraging and it's a confidence booster for us," Dillon said. "We put ourselves in a good position to get this, and obviously Hansen will come in and do well."

Rookie Auston Matthews scored his 31st goal for the Maple Leafs to start a crucial three-game California swing. Toronto has a one-point lead over Florida and the Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Andersen made 34 saves but couldn't come up with the key one late.

"It's a tough way to end a game," he said. "We were close to getting a point at least and having a chance to win it. Tough last play there. You hate to see it happen."

The Sharks had the better of the chances in a scoreless first period, but Andersen stopped all 13 shots he faced, including Joel Ward all alone from in close on a power play.

"He's been great for us," Matthews said. "We have to be better for him. A lot of times they're getting in front of him and creating odd-man situations down low and he's coming up big for us."

The Leafs then used their top-ranked power play to strike first in the second. With Justin Braun in the box, Toronto capitalized on a missed hip check by Brent Burns on a zone entry by William Nylander. Josh Leivo then slid the loose puck to Matthews in the slot, and he beat Jones to make it 1-0.

The Sharks tied it later in the period when Kevin Labanc set up Dillon for a slap shot from the top of the circle to beat Andersen.

Game notes
Sharks coach Peter DeBoer won his 300th game as an NHL coach. ... Marner returned to the lineup after missing five games with an apparent right shoulder injury. ... F Brian Boyle made his debut for the Leafs, a day after being acquired in a trade from Tampa Bay.

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Visit Los Angeles on Thursday.

Sharks: Host Vancouver on Thursday.

Related Video
Matthews scores, but Hertl nets winner
Matthews scores, but Hertl nets winner
Auston Matthews tallies his 31st goal of the season, but Tomas Hertl's laser shot finds the top corner for the game-winning goal for the Sharks in a 3-1 victory over the Maple Leafs.

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