TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Martin St. Louis' 5-year-old son asked his father for a hat trick. With just a few days to spare in the NHL regular season, young Mason had his wish granted.
St. Louis scored three goals, and the Tampa Bay Lightning snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
While the Lightning won't be in the playoffs this year, St. Louis at least has a nice memory to savor.
"I want to finish the year strong and see where it takes me," St. Louis said. "I'm really happy for my youngest son because all year before I leave he tells me, 'Get a hat trick Dad.'
"I finally came through for him."
St. Louis, who has 16 goals this season, took over the lead in the NHL scoring race with 58 points — two more than teammate Steven Stamkos and injured Pittsburgh Penguins forward Sidney Crosby.
Stamkos scored his 29th goal, two behind NHL-leading Alex Ovechkin of Washington, and added an assist.
With 55 points, Toronto is one point ahead of the New York Islanders for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. Both teams, who have already clinched playoff berths, have two games remaining.
St. Louis' goal in the second period came off wrist shot off a slick pass from behind the net by Nate Thompson to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.
In the third period, with the Lightning leading 3-2, St. Louis got to a rebound of Keith Aulie's slap shot off the boards and slipped the puck past goalie James Reimer.
St. Louis completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal with 2:49 left in the game.