by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
It had been 1,623 games since the Tampa Bay Lightning had a player score four goals in a game. However it wasn't enough to pull out a victory.
Martin St. Louis scored four times in the first 22 minutes of the game, but Joe Pavelski's natural hat trick gave the Sharks their final three goals of the game to edge the Lightning 5-4 Saturday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
San Jose opened the scoring midway through the first, when Matt Nieto wristed a rebound past Ben Bishop for a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Kennedy then was called for a penalty and St. Louis evened the matchup 17 seconds later from the right circle.
The game would not remained tied for long, as Patrick Marleau scored less than a minute later to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.
St. Louis finished the period with two more goals, including an on an amazing backhand shot, to give Tampa Bay a 3-2 lead after the first period.
Eriah Hayes would take another penalty for the Sharks in the first two minutes, allowing St. Louis to match Chris Kontos' mark for goals in a single game, set in the franchise's first game on October 7, 1992.
That would be the end of Tampa Bay's offensive output, as Antti Niemi would keep the Lightning from finding the net for the final 38 minutes of the game.
Pavelski tallied twice within a 20 second span midway through the second period, then deflected a Matt Irwin shot from the point past Bishop for the game-winner with a minute remaining in the second.
Defenseman Victor hedman left the game in the third after being struck by a puck on the inside of his right leg and did not return.
Tampa Bay will have little time to reflect on the loss, as they head to Raleigh for a matchup with the Carolina Hurricanes Sunday.
1. SJ - Nieto (4), Assists - Marleau, Wingels. Time - 9:46
2. TB (PP) - St. Louis (22), Assists - Johnson, Purcell. Time - 11:56
3. SJ - Marleau (21), Assists - Nieto, Wingels. Time - 12:52
4. TB - St. Louis (23), Assists - Cote, Bishop. Time - 15:44
5. TB - St. Louis (24), Assists - Brown, Barberio. Time - 19:30
1. TB (PP) - St. Louis (25), Assists - Purcell, Johnson. Time - 2:07
2. SJ - Pavelski (23), Assists - Kennedy, Demers. Time - 12:48
3. SJ (PP) - Pavelski (24), Assists - Boyle, Marleau. Time - 13:09
4. SJ - Pavelski (25), Assists - Irwin, Thornton. Time - 19:00
1. Martin St. Louis (TB) - 4 goals (ties franchise record)
2. Joe Pavelski (SJ) - 3 goals
3. Patrick Marleau (SJ) - 1 goal, 2 assists