Mitchell Marner ties Leafs' franchise-record point streak

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner extended his career-long point streak to 18 games on Wednesday while tying a franchise record.

The winger scored an empty-net goal late in the third period of Toronto's 3-1 win over the San Jose Sharks to continue his run. It's the longest active streak in the NHL this season and started in an overtime loss to the Sharks on Oct. 27.

Marner joined Darryl Sittler (in 1977-78) and Eddie Olczyk (1989-90) as the only Leafs to hit that 18-game mark.

After a comparatively slow start to the season -- with only five points in his first seven games -- Marner exploded into a dominant threat for the Leafs. He now has collected at least one point in 23 of 25 contests, while producing eight goals and a team-leading 22 assists. That also ties Marner for the fourth-most helpers in the NHL so far.

Marner is the 23rd player in NHL history with a point streak of at least 18 games. He has seven goals and 17 assists during the streak.

Marner had two chances at an empty net in the closing minutes Wednesday, looking to pass first and then firing another shot wide as the Scotiabank Arena crowd groaned. He got another chance and finally buried the puck.

Asked whether there was a sense of relief, Marner said: "Yeah, I mean, did you see me? I can't wait to talk to my father. He's gonna be like, 'What the hell are you doing on that pass for the first one? [Michael Bunting], on the bench, when he looked at me couldn't believe I tried to pass to him, too."

The 25-year-old has been an effective playmaker since entering the league in 2016-17, gathering more than twice as many assists as goals in nearly every season to date. According to Stathletes data, Marner leads the NHL this season in passes to the slot (3.62 per game), which has helped him consistently tee up teammates.

Marner has made a point of praising those around him throughout this monthlong stretch. After he scored on Monday in Detroit to put his streak at 17 games, Marner was quick to note such success doesn't happen in a vacuum.

"It's a cool thing, but nothing's every achievable by yourself," he said. "It's always kudos to your teammates and it's always a lot of love to those guys in making plays and finding me in open ice."

Beyond just playing a pivotal role for Toronto at 5-on-5, Marner is a key player in the Leafs' top power-play and penalty-kill units. He leads all Toronto forwards in average ice time (21:29) and short-handed ice time (2:20).

Marner has a chance to stand alone with the Leafs' point-streak record when Toronto faces Tampa Bay on Saturday.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.