Mike Brown

Associated Press

Pavelski, Thornton take a bite out of the Canadiens

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton each had three points to key a dominant performance from San Jose’s top line, and the Sharks beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-2 on Monday night for their sixth victory in the past seven meetings between the teams.

Pavelski had two goals and one assist, while Thornton scored one goal and assisted on two others to help the Sharks move within two points of second-place Anaheim and four points of leader Los Angeles in the Pacific Division. Brent Burns also had a goal and two assists, and Melker Karlsson and Nick Spaling added goals for San Jose.

Martin Jones made 21 saves to earn wins on back-to-back nights for the first time since November.

Brendan Gallagher and Torrey Mitchell scored for the Canadiens, who lost in regulation for the first time in five games. Montreal fell seven points behind Pittsburgh in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Mike Condon made 30 saves.

The Sharks’ top line controlled the game from the start, generating the first three goals for the team. The first came in the opening minutes when Pavelski adroitly deflected a shot-pass from Justin Braun right to Thornton at the side of the net. Thornton tucked in the puck for his 15th goal to make it 1-0.

After Gallagher tied the game when his bad-angle shot from the corner sneaked past Jones, San Jose’s two Joes teamed up again. This time Thornton fed Pavelski in the slot from the side boards and he beat Condon with a quick one-timer for his 28th goal of the season.

The top line was at it again early in the second when Thornton made a nice entry and fed Burns for a wrister that beat Condon. The 36-year-old Thornton leads the NHL with 44 points since Dec. 15 and has 60 overall.

Pavelski, who added a goal late in the third, has 29 goals on the season and 61 points. San Jose’s duo joined Dallas’ Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin as the only teammates with at least 60 points this season.

The Canadiens made a game of it midway through the second when Mitchell batted a puck out of the air past Jones to make it 3-2. Jones kept the score there with a strong pad save late in the second to rob Tomas Plekanec.

The Sharks turned it into a laugher in the third when Karlsson batted in a perfect saucer pass from Chris Tierney, and Spaling knocked in a rebound of Logan Couture‘s shot for his second goal in four games since joining San Jose.

Spaling scored just once in 35 games with Toronto before being acquired last week.

NOTES: The Canadiens claimed forward Mike Brown off waivers from the Sharks and immediately played him against his former team. He got a warm ovation after being shown on the video board during the first period. … Burns got his 400th career point with an assist on Pavelski’s first-period goal. … Phillip Danault registered his first point with Montreal with his assist on Mitchell’s goal.

Roundup: Habs claim Brown, Devils claim Warsofsky

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Quick look at some of the moves made via waivers on trade deadline day…

— Montreal replaced some of the grit at depth lost at forward from the Dale WeiseTomas Fleischmann trade by picking up Mike Brown from the Sharks. Brown, 30, has appeared in 44 games for San Jose this season, scoring one goal and three points while racking up 63 PIM.

Brown is in the last of a two-year, $2.4 million deal with a $1.25M average annual cap hit.

— New Jersey added some depth on defense by claiming David Warsofsky off waiver from the Penguins. Warsofsky, 25, is a decent offensive blueliner that’s failed to make much of an impact at the NHL level, scoring just two goals and four points in 22 career games.

This year, Warsofsky appeared in 12 contests for the Penguins, a career high. He’s on a one-year, $600,000 deal and will be an RFA on July 1.

— There were no takers for a pair of goalies exposed to waivers yesterday (Toronto’s Alex Stalock and Colorado’s Reto Berra), nor did anyone put in a claim for Columbus’ Rene Bourque or Boston’s Zac Rinaldo.

It’s worth noting that Rinaldo has a disciplinary hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Tuesday, following his high hit on Tampa Bay’s Cedric Paquette.

Related: Oilers pick up Cracknell, Pardy off waivers

Busy wire day, too: Laich clears, Berra and Rinaldo on waivers

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A busy day heading into the twilight of the trade deadline brings about other moves, including a boatload of activity on waivers.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie makes it easy for us all by compiling them all in a handful of tweets.

Waived, according to McKenzieAlex Stalock, Reto Berra, Rene Bourque, Mike Brown, David Warsofsky, Adam Cracknell, Adam Pardy and Zac Rinaldo.

Berra’s an interesting consideration, as he’s shown flashes of brilliance despite arguably being a little pricey when it comes the the assets Colorado spent to acquire and then keep him.

Stalock is noteworthy as he was part of the James Reimer trade, but won’t get an immediate look in Toronto.

Finally, Rinaldo tends to make waves when he plays in the NHL …

Clearing waivers, via McKenzie: Maxime Talbot, Chris Porter and Brooks Laich.

Laich is playing for Washington as of this writing.

DeBoer: ‘Always been a fan’ of Mike Richards, as reports of Sharks’ interest swirl

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Could there be a Mike Richards-Peter DeBoer reunion in the San Jose?

On Tuesday, CSN Bay Area asked DeBoer about a Sportsnet report claiming the Sharks had interest in Richards, who played four years under DeBoer in OHL Kitchener (the two won a Memorial Cup together in 2003).

“I’ve always been a fan, but also he’s a guy that I’ve tried to stay in contact with over the years,” the Sharks head coach said. “I’ve always followed his career.

“Glad to see that he’s back and training and might come back, but beyond that, no other relationship.”

When asked if he thinks Richards could make an NHL comeback, DeBoer replied “I think he can,” adding he’s spoken with Richards over the last few months.

Richards, 30, hasn’t played in the NHL since April. His 12-year, $69 million deal with the Kings was terminated this offseason due to a “material breach” stemming from an incident at the Canadian border.

Currently, he’s awaiting trial in January for allegedly entering the country with Oxycodone. As CSN Bay Area notes, no team would likely make a move until Richards’ legal situation was cleared up.

That the Sharks have interest probably goes beyond Richards’ personal history with DeBoer. The club’s had bottom-six forward depth issues all year long, and have tried numerous solutions.

Dainius Zubrus was signed after arriving on a PTO in November, and GM Doug Wilson has relied heavily on recalls from the AHL’s Barracuda, rotating in the likes of Ryan Carpenter, John McCarthy, Bryan Lerg, Micheal Haley, Nikolay Goldobin and Barclay Goodrow.

Should he eventually be signed, Richards would also give the club some experience and depth down the middle. Tomas Hertl, now in his third NHL campaign, has struggled this season — he has just four goals in 34 games — and is currently manning the fourth line between Melker Karlsson and Mike Brown.

Fight video: Mashinter and Brown drop the gloves

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Mike Brown and Brandon Mashinter aren’t in the NHL because of their offensive prowess, but they do play with an edge to their game.

The two forwards dropped the gloves in the first period of Sunday’s game between the Sharks and ‘Hawks.

This one was more of a wrestling match.

Brown did land a good shot on Mashinter before the officials broke up the fight.

The Sharks currently lead the ‘Hawks by a score of 3-2 with 15 minutes remaining in the third period.