Tomas Hertl notched a hat trick Tuesday as the sizzling San Jose Sharks outplayed the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 for their seventh consecutive win. Hertl has nine goals in the past 11 games. Marcus Sorenson and Joe Thornton also scored for San Jose, Evander Kane recorded three assists, and Brenden Dillon had two assists.
Goaltender Martin Jones stopped 22 of 24 Penguins shots to win his eighth straight start. Kris Letang scored on a strong individual effort and Derick Brassard scored late for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray made 24 saves for Pittsburgh and had his nine-start winning streak halted. The Penguins have lost two straight after winning 10 of 11. They are 1-2-0 on a five-game western road trip.
Letang opened the scoring with a highlight-reel goal. He carried the puck coast to coast, burned Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson, a fellow All-Star, after crossing the blue line and roofed a backhander past Jones at 10:17 of the first. After that goal, linesman Kiel Murchison exited the game, leaving three officials to continue. Murchison took a hard fall earlier in the period on a faceoff. San Jose tied it 1:43 later when Sorenson, providing a screen, redirected a shot by Karlsson under Murray's pads. Hertl gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 14:05 of the first. He cut in from the right half-wall and threw the puck past Murray's blocker from the slot.
Thornton, playing in his 1,000th game with San Jose, increased the advantage to 3-1 at 3:39 of the second. His one-timer from the center point off a feed by Joe Pavelski knuckled past Murray for his fourth goal in the past five games. Off a faceoff play in the Pittsburgh end, Hertl scored on a rebound at 2:06 of the third to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead. With Murray pulled, Brassard scored on a wrist shot from the right dot with Jones screened to make it 4-2 with 1:50 left in regulation. Hertl added an empty-netter to make it 5-2 with 24.8 seconds to go.
(With inputs from agencies.)