Worcester Sharks forward Jeremy Langlois registered a natural hat trick inside an 11:04 span of the third period to lead the Sharks to a 3-2 come from behind victory over the Portland Pirates (AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes) Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Arena.
With the win, the Sharks have now won a franchise record eight games in a row and have moved up into the sixth spot of the Eastern Conference standings for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs with 36 games left in the season.
Langlois' linemate Evan Trupp assisted on all three goals while goaltender J.P. Anderson, who got the call in net after scheduled starter Troy Grosenick fell ill prior to the game, made 16 saves for his fifth win of the season.
The Sharks' win streak appeared in jeopardy through 40 minutes of play as the Pirates held a 2-0 lead despite being outshot 18-8. Pirates forward Henrik Samuelsson crashed the net and fired home a rebound shot from on top of the crease for his seventh goal of the season at 11:58 of the first period for a 1-0 lead.
At 16:17 of the second period, Pirates forward Jordan Martinook deflected defenseman Dylan Reese's shot from the right point past Anderson for his 10th goal of the season.
Langlois got the Sharks on the scoreboard at 7:06 of the third period when he followed his blocked shot from on top of the right faceoff circle and fired a wicked snap shot from between the hash marks in the slot past Pirates goaltender Louis Domingue for his team leading 12th goal of the season.
Five minutes later at 12:07, Langlois tied the game when he slid a rebound from on top of crease on the left side past a sprawled out Domingue for his second goal of the game and 13th of the season. Trupp, who took the initial shot from inside the the right faceoff circle, and Sharks captain Bryan Lerg had the assists.
With 1:50 left in the period, Langlois corralled an up ice feed from Trupp at center ice, skated towards the right wing of the Pirates zone, made a move around the Pirates defenseman Philip Samuelsson and fired a quick shot from deep inside the right faceoff circle that beat Domingue to complete the natural hat trick. Lerg had the secondary assist on the goal, which was Langlois' 14th of the season and held up as the game winner.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 28-18 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill...Anderson is now 5-6-1 with a 2.65 goals-against-average and .902 save percentage... In addition to his natural hat trick, Langlois had a game high four shots on goal... The Sharks have points in a franchise record nine straight games (8-0-1)... Sharks forward Eriah Hayes returned to the lineup after missing the last six games due to injury...With Grosenick ill, Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau served as the emergency backup goaltender... Defenseman Dylan DeMelo was called up to San Jose on Jan. 20 while defenseman Mirco Mueller was loaned from San Jose on a conditioning assignment... The Sharks released Gregor Hanson from his PTO... This was the sixth of eight meetings between the Sharks and Pirates this season... The Sharks are 3-2-1 against the Pirates, 8-8-2 on the road and 21-14-5 with 47 points overall...The Sharks are back in action Friday night (Jan. 22) as they host the Albany Devils at 7:30 pm/et.
1. Jeremy Langlois - Sharks (3-0-0)
2. Evan Trupp - Sharks (0-3-3)
3. Jordan Martinook - Pirates (1-1-2)
Tarasov / Tierney / Coetzee
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Langlois
Haley (A) / Oleksuk / Hamilton
McCarthy / Carpenter / Hayes
Taormina (A) / Mueller
Abeltshauser / Doherty
Young / Fedun