TAMPA -- Martin St. Louis' career day wound up in disappointment.
Right Wing - TBL
GOALS: 25 | ASST: 24 | PTS: 49
SOG: 134 | +/-: 15
St. Louis had the first four-goal game of his career and the first by a Tampa Bay Lightning
player since the first game in franchise history. But St. Louis' four goals didn't translate into two points because the San Jose Sharks
rallied behind a natural hat trick by Joe Pavelski
for a 5-4 win.
Before Saturday, the only Tampa Bay player to score four times in a game was Chris Kontos, who had four against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Lightning's NHL debut on Oct. 7, 1992.
"I did appreciate [scoring four goals] until we were down and the game was over," St. Louis said." It's tough to really be glad about it. You put yourself in that position, obviously I got some good bounces. But you lose the game."
For St. Louis, winning is more important than individual honors, although he has had his share of both.
"I don't think you play this game to have franchise records or League records," St. Louis said. "You play this game to win a championship. Along the way if you do good things, it's great, but I don't think it's something that is in the back of somebody's mind.
"I don't think you're trying to get to four [goals]; I just think you're trying to put your team in a position to win a game. If you're down a goal, you try to get the next one. I don't think you're thinking, 'I got one tonight, I'm hoping I score four.' No, you try to put yourself in position to help your team win. Some of them go in and you're helping your team, but this is a team game. It isn't like getting four birdies in a row and shooting four-under in golf. It's not like that."
St. Louis has had 49 multiple-goal games in his career, and he understands what it takes to score in bunches.
"You're just trying to get yourself as ready as you can be," St. Louis said. "Obviously when you score an early one, personally, you're going to feel good. It gives you a boost and I rode the wave."
St. Louis is the first player to score four times in a loss since Marc Savard of the Calgary Flames did it in a 6-5 loss to the St. Louis Blues on April 5, 2000.
It was the eighth time in St. Louis' career he's scored three or more goals. In contrast, Pavelski had the first three-goal game of his career, a natural hat trick that came over 6:12 of the second period.
He had to sweat it out a bit; the credit for the third goal was changed by officials twice before it they settled on Pavelski as the scorer.
"It switched around a couple of times but in the end I get it," Pavelski said.
The game marked only the fourth time in NHL history that two natural hat tricks were scored in one game.
St. Louis, now 38, has 25 goals this season and shows no signs of slowing down.
"I don't think he's done," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. "For him to have the kind of game he had tonight and to wind up on the losing end, it kind of puts a little sting -- he'll be the first one to tell you that it doesn't mean quite as much because we didn't win the game. But it is pretty remarkable what he has done in his career and the book is not done being written."