Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen, playing in his 100th game as a Leaf, stopped five of six Sharks in the shootout to overcome a giveaway in front of his net that led to Chris Tierney's game-tying goal in the second period.
"They're a veteran team, they know how to play, and it looks like it when the game is on the line", Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said of the Sharks. "Huge win for us".
Lucky for Thornton, he still appeared to have plenty of beard left over after that brawl.
Now this how you start a good ol' hockey game (if it was 1976).
The Sharks veteran watched a clump of his brown-and-gray beard hit the ice after dropping gloves with Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri just two minutes into their game Thursday night.
Marleau almost scored his first goal against the Sharks when got a look into a gaping net from the doorstep at 7:36 of the second.
Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored for the Leafs in the six-round shootout.
Tierney tied it with 1:42 left in the period.
Kadri said the fight was Thornton's idea and he isn't sure why. I felt he came across with a slash there, then another one, and I gave one back. "By no means did I expect that". "I didn't let it affect me", he said.
The Leafs jumped ahead 2-1 at 12:40 of the second when Kadri redirected a Mitch Marner shot through Jones' five hole with his skate from the slot. "You have to have mental toughness, and its easy to be positive when things are going well, but it takes some mental toughness to be that way when things aren't going so well". "We're good with this team at picking up each other if someone makes a mistake".
Matthews, with his 18th of the season, and Sharks defenceman Brenden Dillon traded goals late in the first period.