Sharks 6, Blues 3

Ross McKeon, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Right winger Brent Burns' first career hat trick enabled the San Jose Sharks to beat the St. Louis Blues 6-3 on Friday afternoon.
The defenseman converted a power-play goal at 12:19, just 60 seconds after the visitors had cut a four-goal deficit to only one. Burns has eight goals and 13 points in 12 games this season.
Winners in seven out of eight, the Sharks look to sweep a season-long five-game homestand when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night.
Rookie right winger Tomas Hertl added an empty-net goal.
The Blues saw their five-game winning streak end.
St. Louis finally converted a power-play goal on its sixth attempt as center David Backes beat San Jose goalie Antti Niemi at 2:02 of the third period to cut the deficit to two goals. St. Louis possessed the puck in the Sharks' end for the entire 1:21 after defenseman Brad Stuart tripped right winger Vladimir Tarasenko.
Jaden Schwartz narrowed the deficit to one when he capped a 2-on-1 break with his sixth goal at 11:19 as the teams skated 4-on-4. Schwartz extended his scoring streak to six games that includes three goals and four assists.
The Sharks were ready for the early start, unlike the Blues who had already been blown out once this season by San Jose (6-2 on Oct. 15 in St. Louis).
San Jose scored four times and outshot St. Louis 12-2 in the opening 20 minutes.
Burns scored the first of two opening-period goals just 35 seconds after the opening faceoff to mark the ninth time the Sharks have scored in the first two minutes of a game. Blues defenseman Barret Jackman tuned the puck over to San Jose center Logan Couture and left winger Patrick Marleau fed an open Burns in front.
The Sharks halted a power-play drought when center Joe Thornton scored his fourth of the season at 3:01, 54 seconds into defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk's minor for interfering with right winger Mike Brown. San Jose was 0-for-14 and had scored only one power-play goal in its last 16 tries over five games.
Burns gave the hosts a three-goal edge before the midway point of the period by capping a line rush with one-timer following a cross-ice feed from Thornton. The Blues used their timeout at the 9:14 mark, having surrendered eight of the game's first nine shots.
Right winger Tommy Wingels finished the onslaught with a half-speed shot from the right side that slipped through the glove of Blues goalie Brian Elliott on the near post. St. Louis defenseman Jay Bouwmeester failed to hold a puck in at the San Jose line.
Couture assisted on three of the four goals.
The Blues got it going in the second period, especially during the last 10 minutes of the session. The visitors broke through at 11:03 when defenseman Ian Cole finished a 3-on-2 break with his first goal of the season as the teams were skating 4-on-4.
The Sharks marched to the penalty box three times in the period as center Joe Pavelski, left winger Martin Havlat and defenseman Dan Boyle committed minors. Niemi was on his game during the short-handed situations, and he had luck on his side.
Center Derek Roy hit the near post halfway through the Blues' third power-play of the period and fifth of the game. Niemi gloved Cole's long shot at the end of the same advantage when the visitors were looking to cut the deficit in half.
Niemi was good early in the period as well, making a pad save on right winger T.J. Oshie 34 seconds into the period and denying Tarasenko during a 2-on-1 break at 4:30.
Jaroslav Halak relieved Elliott at the start of the period in the St. Louis goal. He stopped all 12 shots he faced in the middle period.
NOTES: The four-goal start boosted San Jose's first-period dominance over opponents to 36-13. ... The two teams came into Saturday's game with the best winning percentages in the NHL -- St. Louis at .813 and San Jose .771. ... RW Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery) and Rw Adam Burish (back surgery) continue to rehab injuries for the Sharks while D Jordan Leopold (finger surgery) and RW Ryan Reaves (broken hand) remain out for the Blues. ... The Sharks conclude a season-long five-game homestand on Saturday when they host Anaheim. ... St. Louis caps a three-game trip in Los Angeles on Monday. ... D Jason Demers, LW James Sheppard and RW John McCarthy were healthy scratches for San Jose while D Carlo Colaiacovo and RW Adam Cracknell did not dress for St. Louis.

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