SAN JOSE -- The Sharks aren't showing any respect for their Original Six elders from the Great White North these days.
San Jose skated away with a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night in a wild game that featured two goals by Joe Pavelski and a Gordie Howe hat trick -- a goal, an assist and a fight -- for Tommy Wingels after he was the victim of a dubious call by referee Dave Jackson that disallowed an apparent goal and seemed to indicate this might not be San Jose's night.
"The team responded after that," Wingels said. "You can get frustrated and kind of sulk about it or react the way our team did and that's to score a few more after that."
Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Brent Burns and Marty Havlat also scored for San Jose while two shots by Toronto forward Jake Gardiner were the only ones to get past goalie Antti Niemi, who made 19 saves in earning his 32nd win.
Three nights after a 4-0 dispatching of the Montreal Canadiens, the Sharks were facing a Toronto team that rolled into San Jose as one of the NHL's hottest, sporting a 14-3-3 record over its past 20 games. That streak included a 3-1 victory in coach Randy Carlyle's first game back in Anaheim the previous night.
"It's tough playing back-to-back nights," the Sharks' Joe Thornton said. "We'd like to jump on teams as quick as possible and I think we did that. Really, we just kept them down all night."
The win gave the Sharks a 5-1-1 record since the Olympic break and pulled them within two points of the Anaheim Ducks at the top of the Pacific Division.
The Sharks got on the scoreboard first at 3:58 on a 44-foot slap shot by Vlasic after Matt Nieto took the puck away from Gardiner, but the lead lasted only 25 seconds. On the next shift, Havlat fumbled the puck at the blue line and Gardiner redeemed himself at the end of an odd-man rush.
The Sharks looked as if they had taken at 2-1 lead at 9:37 when Wingels tucked a backhand shot under Toronto goalie James Reimer's extended right leg pad. But referee Dave Jackson immediately waved off the goal, later explaining he had lost sight of the puck and intended to blow the whistle.
San Jose was even more frustrated less than two minutes later when a shot by Burns hit twine -- only to have Jackson again wave off the goal. This time, however, the play could be reviewed by the NHL's situation room in Toronto and the on-ice call was overruled, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead.
Wingels was instrumental in the first of two second-period goals that bumped San Jose's lead to 4-1, decking Leafs forward Peter Holland with a crushing check in the defensive zone, then hustling down the ice to be in position to deflect Justin Braun's shot into the Toronto net just 10 seconds later at 6:54.
Two shifts after Wingels scored, Thornton found Pavelski to the right of the Toronto net and his shot sailed over Reimer's outstretched glove. After a nice pass from Jason Demers, Pavelski's second of the night made it 5-1 at 4:26 of the third period.
After Gardiner scored short-handed at 14:56 to cut the lead to three goals, Wingels earned his lone assist of the night when Havlat lifted a rebound into the Toronto net at 16:33. And the fight came 23 seconds later when Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf sucker-punched Havlat and Wingels tangled with Maple Leaf forward Joffrey Lupul in the aftermath.
Sharks (42-17-7) at Columbus (34-26-5), 4 p.m. CSNCA