The San Jose Sharks (31-12-6, 68 points) defeated the Tampa Bay Lighting (28-16-5, 61 points) by the final score of 5-4 in a high-scoring affair. The game featured not one but TWO natural hat tricks from both Joe Pavelski and Martin St. Louis. Pavelski, who has been on a tear as of late, has really found a home on the top line with Joe Thornton and has 12 goals and five assists in 14 games since moving there.
San Jose’s Joe Pavelski scored his first ever in a game where his Sharks needed every one. Oddly enough he scored all of his goals in the second period and ended up getting the game winner. Tampa Bay’s hat trick was by Martin St. Louis who actually scored all four of his team’s goals in the losing effort. His hat trick came in the entirety of the first period.
This win was also big because it marks a sweep of their three-game road trip. With the way they have been struggling on the road lately it will be a good boost to the team. They should also be encouraged to know that they can still put up plenty of goals when it matters even without Tomas Hertl and Logan Couture in the lineup.
The first period, which ended with a 3-2 Tampa Bay lead, started off well for the Sharks on a Matt Nieto goal. However, just two minutes later, St. Louis would score his first goal of the game on the power play to quickly make the game 1-1.
The second line would answer back with their second goal of the period this time with Patrick Marleau scoring and Nieto feeding him. Tommy Wingels was right in front of Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop providing a great screen.
But, before the period would end, St. Louis would score his second and third goals of the afternoon to take a one-goal lead into the dressing room.
Just two minutes into the second period St. Louis would score his fourth goal of the game and second on the power play to give the Lighting a 4-2 lead. His fourth and (fortunately) final goal came on a one-timer after a great feed across the ice from his linemate.
With the San Jose Sharks down Pavelski proceeded to turn it on and answer St. Louis’ hat trick with one of his own. His first goal game on a one-timer after a great feed from Tyler Kennedy who continues to play well for the Sharks.
Joe Pavelski’s second goal, and perhaps most impressive, came on a rebound opportunity after he was originally in front of the net providing a screen. After being checked to the ice, Pavelski corralled the puck and whipped it to net and it found its way past Bishop to tie the game at four.
His final goal of the period came with a little bit of luck as both he and Brent Burns deflected a puck that was originally shot on net by defenseman Matt Irwin. The goal was first credited to Irwin and then Burns, but eventually he would get credit for it and complete his natural hat trick.
In the third period the scoring slowed down to a halt although the action really did not. The Sharks were able to lock it down on defense however, and in the end take home the 5-4 victory. The Lighting ended up pulling Bishop with about a minute and a half left in the game, but the San Jose defense and Antti Niemi stood strong to keep the one-goal lead.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Martin St. Louis (4 goals)
2. Joe Pavelski (3 goals)
3. Patrick Marleau (1 goal, 2 assists)
12, 5, 17 in 14 games