Posted March 09, 2013 on AP on Fox
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Vladimir Sobotka recorded his first career hat trick and Patrik Berglund scored 72 seconds into overtime to lift the St. Louis Blues past the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Saturday. Berglund's team-leading 12th goal of the season came after the Blues rallied from two goals down in the third period. Sobotka, in the best stretch of his career, had both scores to tie it before Berglund's winner. Scott Gomez had a goal and assist for San Jose, which has lost nine of its last 11 against St. Louis. Jake Allen made 22 saves for St. Louis after getting knocked around early, but it was San Jose's goalie situation that wound up being pivotal. Starter Antti Niemi made 25 saves, but was pulled with 14:22 left in third after allowing Sobotka's second goal in an 80-second span. Alex Stalock, called up from the minors before the game, replaced Niemi and stopped six shots until Berglund delivered his second game-winning goal this season. Sobotka had just two goals through the Blues' first 21 games but has five in his last three. The Sharks built a 3-1 lead after scores by Gomez and Matt Irwin in the second. Irwin's goal came on the power play, an encouraging sign for a San Jose team that has struggled in man-advantage situations this year. Allen didn't allow anything after that, stopping five shots in the third and one in overtime. It's St. Louis' fifth straight win at the Shark Tank. The Blues went into the game tied for the NHL lead in first period goals and added to their total when Sobotka pushed a rebound past Niemi at the 4:51 mark after Niemi had stopped Kevin Shattenkirk's shot from just inside the blue line. Shattenkirk finished with two assists. San Jose, which got off to a slow start offensively, tied it 10 minutes later on Logan Couture's ninth goal of the season. Couture scored after Tommy Wingels' shot ricocheted off Allen's chest then glanced off the skates of Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo in front of the net. The Sharks caught another break later in the period when Gomez scored to give San Jose a 2-1 lead. Allen had stopped James Sheppard's shot, but the puck deflected off the skate of San Jose's Ryan Clowe to Gomez. Irwin made it 3-1 with a power play goal after the Blues' David Perron was called for goalie interference. Gomez and Justin Braun assisted. Sobotka cut the gap to 3-2 early in the third, then tied it 80 seconds later with a power-play goal. San Jose coach Todd McLellan pulled Niemi after that and replaced him with Stalock. Stalock stopped Chris Porter's shot with 10:46 left in regulation and made five other saves but couldn't stop Berglund, who deflected Barret Jackman's shot past the Sharks rookie goalie. Notes: Shattenkirk left the ice in the second period after getting hit in the side of the head by an errant shot. ... Wingels was activated from the injured reserve list before the game. He had missed five straight games after crashing headfirst into the boards against Dallas on Feb. 23. ... San Jose also recalled F Matt Pelech from Worcester (AHL), reassigned G Thomas Heemskerk to Worcester and placed F Marty Havlat on injured reserve.
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