SAN JOSE — Timo Meier set a franchise record in San Jose with five goals on Monday afternoon, and the Sharks capitalized on a huge first period to beat the Los Angeles Kings 6-2.
Meier, a sixth-year winger who made his first all-star team this season, scored a hat trick before the first period even ended. He then scored his fourth goal less than two minutes into the second period and broke the Sharks record with his fifth just 27 seconds into the second intermission.
“Timo deserves all the credit,” San Jose coach Bob Boughner said.
Quietly the subject of trade rumors during the offseason as San Jose sought to cut payrolls and round the corner on a rebuild, Meier rewarded the Sharks’ loyalty with a great season on a surprisingly rival team.
In 40 games, the Sharks hold their own in the West at 21-17-2 and have a grip on the final conference playoff position at 44 points. There are several teams behind them that have ongoing games in San Jose due to COVID-19 breaks. But for now, the Sharks feel great where they are, and Meier has a lot to do with that.
“I always want to score, but you don’t think too much about how many goals you have in the game,” Meier said. “You just want to win. Great team effort and my teammates made some great passes.”
With fans chanting “Timo! Timo!” at various times during the third period, Meier had a chance for his sixth goal midway through the period when he took the puck down the left side with an open ice in front of him, but Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson knocked the puck out of Meier’s possession as he approached the net.
“You work and get reimbursed and Timo got reimbursed today,” Boughner said. “The way he scored, the patience, the choice of shot. Those are nice goals.”
The talking points of his performance alone could fill a press release. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, no Swiss-born player had ever scored more than three goals in a single game, and he surpassed that. In doing so, he became the second player to score five goals against the Kings in Los Angeles franchise history, joining Alexei Zhamnov of the Winnipeg Jets in 1995. He now has at least one point in seven of his last eight matches.
“Timo is tough to play,” San Jose defenseman Erik Karlsson said. “He finds open areas and he does that at a consistent level now. We knew he had great potential.”
Joe Malone holds the NHL single-game record with seven goals, which he achieved with the Quebec Bulldogs in 1920. Seven players have played in six-goal games over the years.
According to NHL records, Mika Zibanejad of the New York Rangers was the last NHL player to score five goals, which happened on March 5, 2020 against Washington. Meier also scored the 11th hat trick in a single period in Sharks history.
Tomas Hertl had four assists for the Sharks, who had scored just one combined goal in their last two games. Karlsson had three assists, including the 500th of his career, and Rudolfs Balcers had a goal and an assist.
Hertl, in his post-match interview with reporters, was asked if he had any advice for his burgeoning teammate. “Keep shooting,” he said.
James Reimer, making his first start in goal since Jan. 4 for San Jose due to a lower-body injury, made 39 saves.
Anze Kopitar and Anderson scored for Los Angeles, which was on a four-game winning streak.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.