Joe Pavelski Scores Hat-Trick as San Jose Sharks Shock Tampa Bay Lightning

Joe Pavelski

Brace Hemmelgarn – USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning were enjoying a healthy 4-2 lead only two minutes into the second period of the game against the San Jose Sharks and it seemed like the Bolts were on their way to claiming first place of the Atlantic Division with a solid win.

Joe Pavelski, however, thought otherwise and carried the Sharks on his back as San Jose flipped the script, turned the game around before the start of the third period and completed a three-game swept of the Eastern Conference on a road trip that ended with this exciting 5-4 win.

All the headlines were pointing toward Martin St. Louis’ record-performance as he scored in little more than 12 minutes, but the Lightning settled down and the Sharks took advantage of that. The team began to be more aggressive on loose pucks and on the boards, and the rest of San Jose’s players started to look for Pavelski so he could take over — and as expected, the star forward didn’t disappoint his teammates.

Pavelski scored three goals in the last seven minutes of the second period and flipped the script amazingly, allowing the Sharks to go from a two-goal deficit to a one-goal lead once the period was over. The final 20 minutes were very intense and both teams had chances to find the back of the net, but the Sharks prevailed and got a huge win that will do wonders for their confidence.

As for the Lightning, they simply didn’t have an answer for Pavelski and the team dropped a contest they should’ve won with ease. This kind of lackluster effort on the defensive side of the puck can’t be repeated if they are looking to contend this year.

Juan Pablo Aravena is a sports writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @jparavenarant or add him to your network on Google.

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