TAMPA — Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop said he had a feeling teammate Marty St. Louis was primed for a big game Saturday against the Sharks.
"I noticed it even before his first goal," Bishop said. "I noticed he was flying out there."
When it was all said and done, St. Louis had four goals, his eighth career hat trick and a little piece of Lightning history as he tied Chris Kontos' franchise record for goals in a game, a mark Kontos set in the organization's first game, Oct. 7, 1992.
"I did appreciate it," St. Louis said of the record, "until we were down and the game was over."
That's because Tampa Bay fell 5-4 to the Sharks at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, allowing during its fifth straight home loss three second-period goals to blow a 4-2 lead built on St. Louis' opportunism and nose for the net.
"So it's tough to really be happy about it," St. Louis said. "I'm glad I put myself in that position, but at the end of the day, you lose the game."
"Disastrous," coach Jon Cooper said of the loss. "You tell me before the game we're going to score four goals in two periods — regardless Marty has all four of them — and come out on the wrong end of the score. … It's frustrating."
And as it turned out, historic because after St. Louis scored three consecutive goals in the first period for a natural hat trick, San Jose's Joe Pavelski scored three straight in the second period, two in 21 seconds, for a natural hat trick of his own.
It was only the fourth time two natural hat tricks were scored in an NHL game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Pavelski's last goal, which made it 5-4 with 1:00 left in the second, was the most troubling to Cooper as Pavelski deflected Matt Irwin's wrist shot from the blue line.
"You've got to step in front of that," said Cooper, who scolded his team for failing to block similar long-range shots during Monday's 3-2 loss at Columbus. "You can sit here and say the goalie has to make a save. But I thought a couple of guys could have stepped in front of that."
"Against a team like that … you almost have to have a Game 7 mentality because they'll capitalize on your lack of focus," St. Louis said. "For a little while, we didn't have that mentality, and it cost us."
St. Louis, with a team-best 25 goals, has been a machine lately. His seven-game points streak with eight goals and three assists is the league's longest current.
He scored twice on power-play one-timers Saturday and once when a puck deflected off him and Sharks defenseman Mark Stuart. Then there was the first-period breakaway Antti Niemi stopped.
St. Louis, with a backhander through his legs, popped in the rebound with the stick of a pursuing Stuart providing some more impetus.
"You score an early one, personally, you have to feel good," said St. Louis, who scored his three first-period goals in 7 minutes, 34 seconds, the last with 29.7 seconds left. "It gives you a boost, and I rode the wave."
"He was our best player," said center Tyler Johnson, who assisted on two of St. Louis' goals. "It was pretty special to say I was playing with him when he got that.
"It (stinks) we weren't able to get the win for him."
First Period—1, San Jose, Nieto 4 (Marleau, Wingels), 9:46. 2, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 22 (Johnson, Purcell), 11:56 (pp). 3, San Jose, Marleau 21 (Nieto, Wingels), 12:52. 4, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 23 (Cote, Bishop), 15:44. 5, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 24 (J.Brown, Barberio), 19:30. Penalties—Kennedy, SJ (hooking), 11:39.
Second Period—6, Tampa Bay, St. Louis 25 (Purcell, Johnson), 2:07 (pp). 7, San Jose, Pavelski 23 (Kennedy, Demers), 12:48. 8, San Jose, Pavelski 24 (Boyle, Marleau), 13:09 (pp). 9, San Jose, Pavelski 25 (Irwin, Thornton), 19:00. Penalties—Hayes, SJ (interference), 1:49; Bishop, TB, served by Filppula (roughing), 6:29; Marleau, SJ (goaltender interference), 7:11; Brewer, TB (hooking), 13:01.
Third Period—None. Penalties—A.Desjardins, SJ, minor-major (boarding, fighting), 6:50; Cote, TB, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 6:50; Irwin, SJ (holding), 7:57. Shots on Goal—San Jose 14-13-5—32. Tampa Bay 13-10-6—29. Power-play opportunities—San Jose 1 of 2; Tampa Bay 2 of 4. Goalies—San Jose, Niemi 25-10-6 (29 shots-25 saves). Tampa Bay, Bishop 23-6-4 (32-27). A—19,204 (19,204).