The Sharks' 19-year old Tomas Hertl, in only his 3rd career NHL game, scored four goals against the New York Rangers Tuesday night as the Sharks won in near record-tying fashion, 9-2 at the SAP Center in San Jose.
The nine goals is one off the franchise record of 10, set twice; 2002 vs Columbus (10-2), and 1996 at Pittsburgh (10-8)
Hertl’s fourth goal, a full speed, in-the-crease, between-the-legs wrist shot over Martin Biron’s right shoulder was a beauty that has players, fans and announcers alike, bemused.
“I sure don’t have that in my bag,” Captain Joe Thornton said.
Czech-born Hertl’s mother and girlfriend were in the stands to witness the feat that left mom with teary-eyed.
“He’s moving at full speed. Scoring four goals is an awesome night, it’s exciting for all of us,” Joe Pavelski said.
The Rangers, playing back-to-back games after beating LA last night, looked tired and over matched.
After allowing four goals in less than 28 minutes, Alan Vigneault opted to pull goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in favor of Martin Biron who was equally ineffective against the Sharks who pelted the Rangers’ goaltenders with 47 shots on goal.
“The Sharks were on top of their game,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. “ It’s tough to understand how we can play so well last night and like this tonight.”
Lost in the limelight of Hertl’s remarkable achievement was 20-year old, Matt Nieto’s first career goal scored at 8:16 of the second period that made the score 3-1.
Logan Couture holds the record for most goals by a rookie with 32 (2010-’11).
The Sharks scored four goals in the second period and three in the third to runaway from the Rangers who, because of renovations to Madison Square Garden, are on a nine-game road trip.
Unable to speak English fluently at this stage of his career, Hertl would repeatedly say “It’s like a dream.” Or “Very good, nice game, this is crazy,” In post-game interviews, prompting head coach Todd McLellan to say, "I'm not sure he 's knows where he is or what he's doing. He's a young kid with a lot of energy."
The Sharks are 3-0-0 while the Rangers have started the season 1-2-0.