SAN JOSE -- Brent Burns had his first career hat trick, lifting the San Jose Sharks to a 6-3 victory against the St. Louis Blues on Friday afternoon at SAP Center in a battle of two Western Conference powers.
The Sharks built a 4-0 first-period lead with Burns scoring two goals and Joe Thornton and Tommy Wingels adding one apiece.
But Burns answered with a brilliant power-play goal exactly one minute later. Skating down the left boards, Burns cut sharply to his right and snapped a shot between two Blues and past goaltender Jaroslav Halak, with Joe Pavelski providing a screen.
Tomas Hertl added an empty-net goal for the Sharks at 19:14.
Burns scored two goals for the Minnesota Wild against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 6, 2010, but he had never scored more than one goal in a game since being traded to the Sharks before the 2011-12 season.
The Sharks (17-3-5) won their fourth straight game and snapped the Blues' five-game winning streak. San Jose also ended its five-game losing streak on home ice to the Blues (18-4-3), a stretch that included two defeats in a 4-1 first-round series loss in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Antti Niemi made 21 saves for the Sharks, who improved to 4-0-0 on their five-game homestand.
San Jose's Logan Couture tied his career high with three assists, all in the first period.
Blues backup goaltender Brian Elliott started the game and allowed four goals on 12 shots in the first period before giving way to Halak to start the second.
San Jose overwhelmed the Blues in the first period, outshooting them 12-2 and building a four-goal lead.
Burns gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead 35 seconds into the game, taking a pass in the slot from Patrick Marleau and ripping a shot past Elliott. Couture, who fed a pass to Marleau, earned his first assist of the night. Thornton and Hertl, Burns' regular linemates, had yet to come off the bench in the Sharks first change, but he had no trouble adjusting to Couture and Marleau.
Thornton made it 2-0 at 3:01 with a power-play goal, snapping the Sharks' 0-for-14 skid with the man advantage. Couture blasted a shot from the left circle, and Pavelski tracked down the puck to the left of the crease. Pavelski made a no-look pass to Thornton in the right circle, and Thornton snapped a shot over Elliott's shoulder, inside the right post.
Burns struck again at 9:15 for his third goal in four games since coming off injured reserve. Burns took a cross-ice pass from Thornton in the right circle and buried a shot past Elliott, prompting St. Louis coach Ken Hitchcock to take his timeout.
Just over two minutes later, Wingels scored on a breakaway, pounding a shot from the right circle that bounced off Elliott's glove and over the goal line at 11:27. Blues defenseman Jay Bouwmeester had turned the puck over in the neutral zone, and Wingels quickly headed the other way, racing along the right boards before scoring his eighth goal of the season and giving San Jose a 4-0 lead.
Cole cut San Jose's lead to 4-1 at 11:03 of the second period, taking a pass from Schwartz and scoring his first goal of the season. Backes took behind-the-back pass from Derek Roy in the right circle and beat Niemi to the far side on the power play at 2:02 of the third, making it 4-2.
Schwartz scored a 4-on-4 goal at 11:19 to make it a one-goal game.
The Sharks and Blues played each other for the first time since Oct. 15, a 6-2 San Jose win in St. Louis that was marred by Maxim Lapierre's illegal hit from behind on Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. Lapierre sent Boyle head-first into the boards. Boyle was knocked out, left the ice at Scottrade Center on a stretcher and missed seven games with a concussion. Lapierre was suspended by the NHL for five games.
After the incident, Lapierre apologized to Boyle publicly and via text message; Boyle declined to answer his phone calls.
Lapierre was greeted by a few boos from Sharks fans whenever he touched the puck, and forward Mike Brown bumped him at a stoppage during the first period, but San Jose was more intent on scoring goals than exacting retribution.
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