TORONTO — Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored in a shootout to give Toronto a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night in a game that opened with a fight that saw the Maple Leafs' Nazem Kadri rip out part of Joe Thornton's mountain-man beard.
Toronto killed off Mitch Marner high-sticking penalty that gave the Sharks a 4-on-3 skating advantage for the final 1:50 of overtime.
Kevin Labanc was the lone successful San Jose shooter in six tries against Frederik Andersen in the tiebreaker.
Former Shark Patrick Marleau hit the post on his shootout attempt.
Matthews and Kadri scored in regulation for Toronto, and Brenden Dillon and Chris Tierney countered for San Jose.
Toronto snapped a three-game losing streak and a 10-game slid (0-8-2) against the Sharks.
Thornton and Kadri dropping the gloves just two seconds in after slashing each other at the opening faceoff.
The 38-year-old Thornton's beard took a beating in the scrap, thanks to Kadri hanging on to his beard rather than his jersey as he was twirled around by the bigger Shark. A hunk of Thornton's facial hair was left on the ice like a mini-tumbleweed, ultimately finding its way to the glove of backup goalie Aaron Dell on the San Jose bench.
"We were trying to figure out what it was," Tierney said when interviewed prior to the third period.
Matthews opened the scoring with 1:23 left in the first period with his 18th of the season.
Dillon tied it with 52 seconds left in the first.
Kadri scored on a power play midway through the second for his 14th goal.
Tierney tied it with 1:42 left in the period.
NOTES: San Jose is three games into an 11-game run that features nine games on the road thanks to the U.S. figure skating championships back at the SAP Center. ... San Jose won 3-2 when the teams met Oct. 30 in Marleau's return to the Shark Tank.
Sharks: At Ottawa on Friday night.
Maple Leafs: Host Vancouver on Saturday night.