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.