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Hertl has career night vs Rangers
Rookie scores 4 goals in 9-2 goal bonanza
10/8/13 - By Mike Lee -

If you missed the Sharks game on Tuesday night, you may want to forget splurging on lottery tickets because this isn't your week. If your name is Tomas Hertl, you may want to double down on any bets you're placing. The young Czech had the game that most NHLers can only dream of, scoring four goals en route to his first career hat trick. The crazy part of all of this is that Hertl's offensive outburst didn't even account for half of the Sharks scoring, as they pulverized the visiting New York Rangers 9-2 at SAP Center.

* Call Hertl's 4th goal the goal of the year for San Jose, and possibly for the entire NHL. Hertl took a Jason Demers feed and swooped past the Rangers defense on his way to a breakaway chance. The rookie pulled the puck back between his skates, then lifted a backhand shot with his stick blade trailing him, flipping from behind his left leg. The puck popped past Rangers goaltender Martin Biron catching the top shelf of the net.

* Call him economical. Hertl logged the fewest number of shifts of any Shark skater (16) and the thir least amount of ice time (11:12).

* It took Hertl two games to record his first NHL goal and multi-goal game. The hat-trick came in his 3rd career game. Hertl (19 years, 330 days) is youngest player since Jimmy Carson (19 years, 254 days in 1988) to score 4 goals in a game.

* Owen Nolan was the last Sharks to score four goals in a game.

* Rick Nash left the game in the 1st period after taking an elbow from Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart. Stuart was penalized on the play, which was followed shortly thereafter by a bench minor for too many men. The Rangers scored on the ensuing 5-on-3, when Brad Richards sent a shot from the high slot through traffic.

* The Sharks defense got in on the goal-fest, recording the first two tallies for San Jose. Marc-Edouard Vlasic rifled home a shot on a short-handed chance shortly after Richards goal, and Dan Boyle gave the Sharks the lead for good. Justin Braun also got in on the act, scoring his 2nd goal in as many games late in the 3rd period.

* Lost in the shadow of Hertl's glory was rookie forward Matt Nieto's 1st career NHL point and goal. Nieto assisted on Boyle's goal, the scored one of his own 8:16 into the 2nd period. Nieto cut down the slot and redirected a Tommy Wingels pass from the left side. Nieto slipped past former Sharks Dominic Moore on his way to the front of the net.

* In addition to his highlight reel goal in the 3rd period, Hertl scored a pair of goals in the 2nd period, and the goal that launched a thousand hats in the 3rd period. Hertl redirected a crossing pass from Andrew Desjardins at 9:19 of the 2nd and then slipped a breakaway chance through Biron's pads three minutes later. That second goal was setup by a fluke bounce, when Derick Brassard tried carrying the puck into the Sharks zone, but the puck hit a broken stick, deflecting to Joe Thornton. Hertl's 3rd goal came on the power play ala a 6 foot shot from the goal mouth after a deflection bounced on to his stick.

* Logan Couture channeled his inner Toronto Blue Jay (Couture's favorite baseball team) swatting a puck out of the air after Marleau bounced a slap shot off the end boards. The puck floated back over the top of the goal to the crease where Couture ripped a hard line drive that ended up in the back of the net.

* The biggest failure of the night for San Jose came courtesy of the equipment staff, who failed to position a recliner and adult beverage in the Sharks crease for goaltender Antti Niemi. The netminder faced a paltry 20 shots. New York was held to single digit shots until midway through the game.

* Biron was peppered for five goals, but he was a substitute after starter Henrik Lundqvist was yanked by head coach Alain Vigneault.

* As a team, the Sharks finished with a combined +29 on the evening. Six players finished with +3's. Fifteen Sharks players registered at least one point; five players had multi-point nights.

* Marc Staal was a painful -4 for New York.

* Hertl's mother was in the audience. It was extremely touching to see her soaking in her son's monster night from the confines of the upper deck, dolled up in her Patrick Marleau jersey. Yes, Hertl's mom was sporting a teal #12 sweater. Gotta love a mom who dishes out a dose of come-uppance. Don't let the big night get to your head kid.

* If you think 9 goal games are rare, this was the 6th time San Jose pulled off the feat in their brief history.

* Hertl becomes the only player to score a total of six goals in his first three games as a Shark. Rob Gaudreau (1992-93) and Jan Caloun (1995-96) had four goals in their first three games as a Shark, the highest totals before tonight.

* Jason Demers three point night marked the first time in his career that he's scored more than two points in a game.

Key Quotes:

* Tomas Hertl: "This is a dream. The first three games, this is all crazy. Four goals...I never in Czech [Republic] scored four goals. So [do it] in the NHL, this is crazy."

* Tomas Hertl : "It's crazy. These fans are very good. In the Czech Republic I didn't see 3,000 fans at a game. In the NHL, it's 17,000. It is very crazy. I love the NHL. I am very happy."

* Matt Nieto: "To get my first goal I could not be happier. I thought the team played well tonight. I think some of it has to do with our fans that we get. The fans have been great so far, we have been able to play really well in our home building. We are on the road in Vancouver [Thursday], so hopefully we can keep the momentum going."

* Rangers Head Coach Alain Vigneault: "San Jose was on top of their game. They were on top of their execution. The score could have been three or four to one after the first period. So tough to understand at this point how we can play so well last night and play like this tonight. So we have 48 hours before our next game and we'll come up with some answers."


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1 2 3 T
NYR 1 0 1 2
SJ 2 4 3 9
1st period - 1, NYR, Richards 3 (BRassard, Stepan), 3:27, (pp). 2, SJ, Vlasic 1 (Pavelski), 4:23, (sh). 3, SJ, Boyle 1 (Nieto, Pavelski), 7:56.
2nd period - 4, SJ, Nieto 1 (Wingels, Pavelski), 8:16. 5, SJ, Hertl 3 (Desjardins, Demers), 9:19. 6, SJ, Couture 2 (Marleau, Irwin), 9:39. 7, Hertl 4 (Thornton), 12:32.
3rd period - 8, NYR, Dorsett 1 (Boyle, Stralman), 8:22. 9, SJ, Hertl 5 (Demers, Kennedy), 9:02, (pp). 10, SJ, Hertl 6 (Demers, Niemi), 12:05. 11, SJ, Braun 2 (Nieto, Wingels), 15:53, (pp).
1st period - Stuart, SJ (elbowing), 2:32; Bench, SJ (too many men), 3:03; Pavelski, SJ (high sticking), 19:11.
2nd period - None.
3rd period - Boyle, NYR (roughing), 8:42; Boyle, NYR (unsportsmenlike conduct), 8:42; Asham, NYR (slashing), 15:22.
Shots Saves
NYR - Lundqvist 26 22
NYR - Biron 21 16
SJ - Niemi 20 18
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
NYR 7 8 5 20
SJ 15 23 9 47
Power Play Conversion
NYR 1 of 3
SJ 2 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Tomas Hertl
Matt Nieto
Joe Pavelski
Referees: Jackson, St Laurent. Linesmen: Grandt, Wheler.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees


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