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Lightning's St. Louis scores 4, but Pavelski's 3 lift Sharks

The SportsXchange

TAMPA, Fla. -- A shared line in the record book is great. But Tampa Bay right winger Martin St. Louis would have traded it for a win.

The Lightning captain tied a franchise record with four goals, but center Joe Pavelski lifted San Jose with a hat trick of his own as the Sharks beat the Lightning 5-4 on Saturday at Tampa Bay Times Forum.

St. Louis, the Tampa Bay captain, scored three times in the first period and three times consecutively to stake his team to a two-goal lead in the second period. But San Jose scored three times in a six-minute span late in the period to help cap a 3-0 road trip.

St. Louis had half a game to set the franchise record for himself and Tampa Bay had half a game to kill off and end a four-game home losing streak, but neither came to fruition.

"Obviously, it feels pretty good," said St. Louis, who has 25 goals this season. "I was kind of getting some good bounces there. Unfortunately, two-goal lead, half a game left we should have been in position to win a game and we didn't do that.

"They capitalize on mental mistakes if you check out a little bit and we did tonight."

Pavelski put the Sharks ahead to stay by finishing off a second-period hat trick with less than a minute left in the second period. Pavelski re-directed in his 25th of the season when defenseman Matt Irwin wristed a deep shot through a forest of players. Center Joe Thornton was credited with his 46th assist. Irwin earned his 11th.

San Jose (31-12-6) survived a furious final minute as Tampa Bay (28-16-5) pulled goaltender Ben Bishop, but goaltender Antti Niemi made three crucial stops to finish with 25 saves.

"Disastrous," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "If you told me we were going to score four goals, regardless if Marty scores all four and you come out on the wrong end ... it's frustrating."

Left winger Matt Nieto gave San Jose a 1-0 lead with his fourth goal of the year at 9:46 of the first period, taking a pass from center Patrick Marleau to beat goaltender Ben Bishop (27 saves). Marleau recorded his 24th assist. Center Tommy Wingels earned his 14th.

St. Louis tied the game, 1-1, on the power play two minutes later, however, setting up wide open to the left of Niemi and blasting in a cross-slot pass from right wing Teddy Purcell. Center Tyler Johnson (16) and Purcell (21) had assists.

Marleau hammered his 21st goal of the season through a bothersome Wingels screen of Bishop at 12:52 to re-establish a lead for the Sharks. Nieto (9) and Wingels (15) were credited with assists.

St. Louis owned the rest of the period, scoring a circus goal on a breakaway with less than five minutes left in the period. The right winger burst into the Shark zone on a breakaway and back-paddled the puck through his skates and into the net after Niemi made an initial save. Defenseman Jean-Philippe Cote (4) and Ben Bishop (2) earned assists.

St. Louis added a grinder goal with 30 seconds left in the period as right winger J.T. Brown's shot bounced off his upper body and into the goal. Brown (6) and defenseman Mark Barberio (5) had assists. Tampa Bay led 3-2 after one period.

St. Louis became just the second player in Lightning history to score four goals in a game when he ripped in another power play goal less than two minutes into the second period. Finding open space again to the left of Niemi, St. Louis dropped to one knee to finish off a slap shot blast that beat Niemi to the high corner of the net. St. Louis joined Chris Kontos -- who scored four times in the franchise's first-ever game on Oct. 7, 1992 -- in the Lightning record books.

"Spotting him four goals, it's lucky we won the game," Sharks center Joe Thornton said. "He knows what to do when he gets the puck. He's been a great player for a lot of years."

San Jose pulled within 4-3 with 7:12 left in the second period, taking advantage of an extra skater on a delayed penalty. Pavelski ended an exhaustingly long shift for the Lightning when he took a pass from center Tyler Kennedy to poke a shot by Bishop. Kennedy (11) and defenseman Jason Demers (20) had assists.

Pavelski punished the Lightning for defenseman Eric Brewer's hooking penalty quickly, scoring seven seconds into the power play to tie the game 4-4. Defenseman Dan Boyle (14) and Marleau (25) had assists.

"Right place, right time," Thornton said of Pavelski said. "He just has a knack for finding the back of the net. For us to come back from down, 4-2, it was big for us."

NOTES: Lightning RW Martin St. Louis extended his points streak to seven games with the seventh hat trick of his career. His last hat trick was April 24, 2013 against Toronto. He has scored three goals in a period three times. St. Louis passed Hall of Famer Larry Robinson for 87th on the all-time NHL scoring list. ... Tampa Bay entered play having lost four consecutively at home, each by one goal. ... Tampa Bay embarked on a two-city back-to-back set with a game on Sunday at Carolina. ... San Jose entered play having won three of four and seven of the past nine against the Lightning. ... The Sharks had not allowed more than one goal in four straight games before Saturday. They had not allowed a power-play goal in six straight. San Jose concluded a three-game road swing. The Sharks entered with two wins on the trip. ... Lightning D Victor Hedman was helped off the ice early in the third period after being hit in the right ankle with a shot. He will not travel with the team to Carolina.
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