Lightning Vs. Sharks: San Jose Dusts Tampa Bay 7-2

The Sharks jump on the Lightning with five goals in the first period on their way to an easy win.

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Lightning Vs. Sharks: San Jose Dusts Tampa Bay 7-2

The last San Jose Sharks goal of the night was scored by Lightning defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron. He had just been forced to defend a 2-on-1 against Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe, and as Patrick Marleau followed up the play, there was a scramble in front of Lightning backup goalie Dwayne Roloson. As sticks swiped at the puck, Bergeron somehow loosed it and knocked it into his own net. The goal horn blared and the crowd at San Jose’s HP Pavilion once again rose to their feet to celebrate. Then Bergeron smashed his stick over the crossbar, the blade breaking off and sitting on the pipe like a coat hanger. It was that kind of night.

San Jose won because they were much stronger below the goal line and along the boards, dicing up the Lightning’s poor defense all night long. They scored five times in the first period — two by Couture, and one each from Benn Ferreiro, Andrew Desjardins (his first goal since October 8), and Joe Pavelski. The Sharks set their franchise record for the least time needed to score five goals from the start of the game when Couture’s second, on a power play, found the net at 14:47 of the first period. Starting goalie Mathieu Garon had been pulled already, but with San Jose easily getting pucks to the crease and creating wide-open scoring chances from close range, it didn’t really matter who was in net for the Lightning.

Martin St. Louis, back from missing five games with an eye injury, scored for Tampa Bay, as did Dominic Moore. But this game was over almost before it started, and if you turned off the TV and went to sleep, you didn’t miss very much.

The Lightning will head to Denver to face the Colorado Avalanche this Friday at 9:00pm in their last game before Christmas.

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Martin St. Louis Injury Update: Tampa Bay Lightning Winger Returns To Practice

Less than two weeks after taking a puck to the face during a morning skate, Tampa Bay Lightning right winger Martin St. Louis returned to practice Tuesday morning, reports NHL.com. Though his status for Wednesday's game against the San Jose Sharks is in question, his participation in practice and ability to travel with the team are positive signs.

The collision with the puck forced St. Louis to the hospital, as it broke his nose and fractured his orbital bone. In addition, the impact caused his left eye to swell shut and develop a blood clot. As a result, St. Louis had to sit out for what would have been his 500th consecutive regular-season game.

The 13-year veteran has nine goals and 13 assists in 27 games so far in the 2011/12 campaign. His 22 points puts him in a three-way tie for No. 2 on the team, behind Steven Stamkos (37 points), who leads the NHL with 20 goals.

For more on the Lightning, please visit Raw Charge. For the perspective from the other side, please visit SB Nation Bay Area and Fear the Fin, SB Nation's Sharks blog.

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Tampa Bay Lightning Look To 'Shock' The San Jose Sharks

The Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks face off tonight for the first time since the 2008-2009 season. The Bolts are searching for their third straight win, but it could be tough to come by.

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