Burns has hat trick in Sharks' 6-3 win over Blues



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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Brent Burns got his first NHL hat trick and the Sharks ended a five-game home losing streak to St. Louis with a 6-3 victory over the Blues on Friday.

Joe Thornton, Tomas Hertl and Tommy Wingels also scored for the Sharks, who won their fourth straight and seven of eight.

Ian Cole scored his first goal in nearly two years as the Blues had their five-game winning streak halted. David Backes and Jaden Schwartz also scored for St. Louis.

Antti Niemi stopped 21 of 24 shots for his 14th win of the season. Brian Elliott took the loss, his first in eight games, after giving up four goals on 12 shots. He was lifted for Jaroslav Halak, who had 18 saves.

The Blues, who earned points in their previous nine games, were off to their best road start in franchise history, bringing a 7-2-1 mark into the game.

Burns scored 35 seconds into the game, taking a nice pass from Patrick Marleau and flipping the puck over Elliott's right shoulder. Logan Couture, who has not scored a goal in seven straight, started the sequence after intercepting a clearing pass.

Thornton scored a power-play goal at 3:01, the first allowed by the Blues in six games and just the second on the road. Couture took a shot that bounced off Elliott's pad and Joe Pavelski flipped it out to Thornton, who beat Elliott to the glove side.

Burns scored his second goal of the game at 9:14 of the first, set up with a pass from Thornton.

Wingels picked up a flubbed pass to Jay Bouwmeester and had a give-and-go with Couture to make it 4-0, getting a good rebound off Elliott's glove and into the net at 11:27.

Cole, who last scored on Dec. 8, 2011, against the Anaheim Ducks, a span of 43 games, rattled the puck off the right post and had it trickle into the net.

The scoring sequence began when Halak made a terrific save and got the puck out to a streaking Roman Polak.

Backes, who took a 10-minute misconduct late in the second period, made it 4-2 with a power-play goal at 2:02 of the third period, with Derek Roy giving him a backhand pass to set up the score.

Schwartz drilled the puck off Niemi's glove on a give-and-go with Vladimir Sobotka to bring the Blues within one midway at 11:19 of the final period.

Burns got the hat trick when he converted a power-play goal at 12:19. He sneaked it past Halak on the stick side.

Hertl added an empty-net goal in the final minute.

NOTES: Thornton has 17 points in his past 15 games. ... The Blues allowed a third-period goal for the first time in eight games. Their 14 third-period goals allowed is the third fewest. ... Roy has points in five of six games. ... The Sharks scored their first power-play goal since Nov. 15, a span of seven games. ... Couture has not scored a goal in a season-long seven games and has one goal in his past 11.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Rick Eymer

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