Oshie scores second career hat trick as Blues top Sharks
SAN JOSE, Calif. — After scoring two goals, T.J. Oshie was determined to get linemate David Backes a goal of his own as a reward for all his hard work. Instead, his pass took an odd bounce and ended up in the net.
It was that kind of night for Oshie and the St. Louis Blues.
Oshie scored his second career hat trick to move past the 100-goal milestone in his career and the Blues snapped a five-game road losing streak by beating the San Jose Sharks 7-2 on Saturday night.
"It’s nice to get them," Oshie said. "It’s even better right now just to get the two points and get a positive good feeling back in this locker room.
Alexander Steen and Kevin Shattenkirk each had a goal and three assists, and Jaden Schwartz and Dmitrij Jaskin also scored for the Blues, who dominated a night after losing in Anaheim.
Brian Elliott made 18 saves to give St. Louis its second win in the past eight games.
"This was the reward," coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We’d been playing pretty well for long stretches the last three or four games. This is the reward we got for doing it. We eliminated some of the big mistakes we’d been making that hurt us badly."
Joe Pavelski reached the 20-goal plateau for the sixth time in his career and Melker Karlsson also scored for the Sharks, who have lost four of five. Antti Niemi allowed six goals on 27 shots before getting pulled early in the third period as the Sharks allowed their most goals at home since falling 7-2 to Chicago on Nov. 25, 2009.
The Sharks played without star center Joe Thornton, who had his 319 consecutive-games-played streak snapped after sustaining an upper-body injury from a hard hit by Anaheim’s Clayton Stoner on Wednesday.
"It’s pretty frustrating," forward Logan Couture said. "If you can’t win missing one player you’re not going to go too far. We didn’t play at an NHL level. We didn’t even compete."
Thornton’s absence was felt most on the power play where San Jose failed to convert any of its six chances. A lackluster power play late in the second turned the tide to St. Louis.
After the Sharks struggled even to get set up in the offensive zone for the entire two minutes, the Blues struck in the closing seconds to take a two-goal lead into the third. Jaden Schwartz won a battle behind the net with Brent Burns and sent a blind, backhand pass in front to Shattenkirk, who was all alone for the tap-in that made it 4-2.
Oshie had given the Blues the lead earlier in the period when he weaved his way through the San Jose defense and beat Niemi with a wrist shot for his 100th career goal.
He added another in the third after Alex Stalock replaced Niemi to give him his second hat trick. He also scored three goals against Minnesota on March 27, 2014.
"He’s been playing probably his best hockey the past six or seven games despite the fact that we haven’t been as successful," Shattenkirk said. "He’s been playing great. He’s doing the right things. He’s going into the hard areas. He has such a knack for finding the puck out of those scrums and around the net."
St. Louis had 13 of the first 14 shots on goal but trailed 2-1 late in the first after Karlsson and Pavelski scored in a 40-second span late in the period.
The deficit proved short-lived as Steen beat Niemi from a bad angle less than a minute later to tie the game with 43.1 seconds left in the period and the Blues rolled from there.
"On a night when we needed everybody to elevate their game because of the opponent and the loss of a key player, we did the exact opposite," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "To a man we weren’t ready mentally or physically to play the first 17 minutes or so. I don’t know why."
Notes: Thornton missed his first game since serving a two-game suspension in November 2010 and first for injury since sitting three games late in the 2009-10 season. … Schwartz returned after missing seven games with a broken foot. F Colin Fraser was sent to Chicago of the AHL.