On last week’s Hat Trick Retrospective, we looked at the very first game in Tampa Bay Lightning history with Chris Kontos scoring four goals to set a franchise record right away. So it seemed only fitting to follow up with Martin St. Louis tying the record with four goals in a game against the San Jose Sharks on January 18th, 2014.
The game came less than a week and a half after Team Canada’s 2014 men’s Olympic hockey roster for the Sochi Olympics was announced. St. Louis was left off of that initial roster, though he would later be named as an injury replacement for Steven Stamkos when his recovery from a broken leg would not allow him to be ready in time.
St. Louis was... not happy. He expected to be a part of the team and was not in a good mood when that wasn’t the case. It was reportedly one of the reasons that led to him asking for a trade less than two months later, which Steve Yzerman obliged.
The roster was announced on January 7th, and St. Louis started a scoring tear that night. After being held scoreless in the previous four games, St. Louis scored two goals that night in Winnipeg to start a ten game scoring streak where he put up eight goals and 14 points. This four goal night encompassed the last goals of the streak. He managed an assist in each of the next four games before the streak came to an end.
The game itself also has some interesting bits. St. Louis scored all four of the Lightning’s goals in the game with the first three coming in the first period. He scored again shortly after the second period began to put the Lightning up 4-2. Joe Pavelski then recorded a natural hat trick to close out the second period give the Sharks a 5-4 win. St. Louis had 37:57 to attempt to break Kontos’ record but failed to do so. There were also two power play opportunities after his fourth goal that the Lightning couldn’t convert.
Now, let’s take a look at how he scored all four goals. Check out the highlights in the YouTube video at the bottom.
After going down 1-0 half way into the first period, the Lightning received the first power play opportunity of the game after the Sharks’ Tyler Kennedy was sent off for hooking. Teddy Purcell had the puck in the left wing circle. After looking over his options, he passed the puck down to the end line for Tyler Johnson. Johnson threaded the pass through the stick and feet of a defender in front of the net to hit St. Louis on the far side. He took the pass, settled it down, and wristed the puck glove side just inside the post to tie the game up at 1-1. Johnson and Purcell recorded the assists.
With under five minutes to go in the first period, defenseman J.P. Cote passed the puck up the left wing side for St. Louis. He went into the zone on a breakaway with the two Sharks’ defensemen chasing him down from behind. He crashed the net, faked, lost the puck, and reached around behind himself to swat the puck at the net. The puck went past the side of a sprawling Antti Niemi for his second goal of the game and to tie it back up at 2-2. The assists went to Cote and Ben Bishop.
The third goal was a rather fortuitous bounce for St. Louis. After Mark Barberio put the puck on net and St. Louis deflected it, J.T. Brown collected the rebound at the side of the net. While skating away from the net, Brown put the puck back into the fracas around the net. The puck went off the stick of a Sharks defenseman, deflected off of St. Louis, off another Sharks defender and then into the net to give him the hat trick goal. Brown and Barberio got the assists.
The fourth and final goal came 2:07 into the second period after Eriah Hayes went to the box for interference giving the Lightning a power play. Purcell, once again in the left wing circle, fired a hard pass across the middle to St. Louis in the right wing circle. He loaded up and slammed a one-timer home a la Steven Stamkos to tie Chris Kontos’ franchise record with four goals in a game. Purcell and Johnson received the assists for the goal.