James Reimer

Watch Sharks' Evander Kane score first-period hat trick, make history

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USATSI

Watch Sharks' Evander Kane score first-period hat trick, make history

Evander Kane's second career hat trick was a first for the Sharks. 

The San Jose winger scored three goals in the first period Wednesday against the Carolina Hurricanes at SAP Center, becoming the first player in franchise history to score a hat trick in the opening 20 minutes. 

Kane opened the scoring 8:36 into the night, gathering a loose puck in the slot and firing a shot past Hurricanes goaltender -- and former Shark -- James Reimer.

The Hurricanes tied the game just over two minutes later, but Kane gave the Sharks the lead once more with a power-play goal. Kane scored his second shortly after Reimer robbed him with a glove save that the winger contended crossed the goal line. 

It didn't end up mattering, as Kane capitalized on another loose puck in the slot for his second goal with 2:41 remaining in the first period. 

Kane scored his third fewer than two-and-a-half minutes after his second. With the Sharks on the power play once more, a wide-open Kane redirected Brent Burns' point shot past Reimer to double San Jose's lead. 

[RELATED: Sharks' Labanc keeping focus on future after team's turnaround]

Kane's three first-period goals were the most the Sharks have scored in a single period all season. The 3-1 advantage they took into the first intermission was just the second lead the Sharks have had after the first 20 minutes all season. 

The Sharks probably won't have to wait as long for their next first-period lead as they did for their first first-period hat trick. 

NHL Gameday: Sharks facing old friend in net at Florida

NHL Gameday: Sharks facing old friend in net at Florida

Programming note – Sharks-Panthers coverage starts today at 4:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California

WHERE THEY STAND

Sharks: 7-6-0, 14 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Panthers: 6-6-1, 13 points, 6th Atlantic Division

PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES

***The Sharks won their first game of a season-long six-game road trip on Tuesday in Washington, 3-0. Martin Jones made 24 saves for his first shutout of the season as San Jose snapped a three-game losing streak. They are 3-4-0 on the road this season.

The Panthers, who beat Tampa Bay on Monday, 3-1, have alternated wins and losses in their last six games. They are 5-2-0 in their home building.

***Florida’s James Reimer is expected to start in goal tonight, per reports. The Sharks acquired Reimer last season on Feb. 27, and in eight starts down the stretch he was 6-2-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. He signed a five-year, $17 million contract with the Panthers in the offseason.

***Tonight’s game features three of the five active all-time scoring leaders in Jaromir Jagr (first, 1873 points), Joe Thornton (second, 1352 points) and Patrick Marleau (fifth, 1040 points).

KEEP AN EYE ON...

Sharks: Kevin Labanc. The skilled 20-year-old forward made his NHL debut on Tuesday in Washington, registering an early shot on goal and playing 13:23 on the second line. With several Sharks forwards simply not generating much offense, Labanc has a great opportunity to stick around for a while if he can produce.

Panthers: Jason Demers. The former Sharks defenseman signed a five-year, $22.5 million contract with Florida in the offseason, and is paired with Keith Yandle in the top four. The 28-year-old is still looking for his first goal, but has five assists in his first 13 games with the Panthers while averaging 19:34 of ice time.

PROBABLE LINES

Sharks
Joe Pavelski – Joe Thornton – Joel Ward
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau – Tomas Hertl – Mikkel Boedker
Melker Karlsson – Chris Tierney – Tommy Wingels

Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – David Schlemko

Martin Jones (starter)
Aaron Dell

Panthers
Jonathan Marchessault – Aleksander Barkov – Jaromir Jagr
Jussi Jokinen – Vincent Trocheck – Reilly Smith
Jared McCann – Denis Malgin – Kyle Rau
Derek MacKenzie – Greg McKegg – Shane Harper

Keith Yandle – Jason Demers
Michael Matheson – Aaron Ekblad
Mark Pysyk – Alex Petrovic

James Reimer (starter)
Roberto Luongo

INJURIES

Sharks: None.

Panthers: Jaromir Jagr (groin) is day-to-day. Nick Bjugstad (broken hand) and Jonathan Huberdeau (Achilles) are out.

QUOTEABLE

“Coming on the road, you want to start well. The last couple games it was hard to create stuff, and bounces haven’t been going our way. We worked 60 minutes, played smart, and it’s a big win.” – Brent Burns, after the Sharks’ win in Washington