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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Patrick Marleau became a member of one of the most exclusive clubs in hockey Thursday, scoring his 500th NHL goal in the first period of what became a 4-1 Sharks win over the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
The player most synonymous with the Sharks organization reached the indelible moment at the 9:30 mark, taking a pass from Joe Pavelski and beating Canucks goalie Ryan Miller with a wrist shot to the blocker side just 15 seconds after the start of a San Jose power play.Patrick Marleau with the puck he shot to score his 500th career goal. (Courtesy San Jose Sharks)
“I think when you hit a mark like this, you start thinking about everyone that’s helped you along the way,” Marleau said. “Can’t name them all, that’s for sure. But to be playing with one club, and with a lot of guys for a lot of years on this team, it means a lot to share that with them and to see how happy they are for you.”
Goalie Martin Jones finished with 31 saves, including 16 in the second period, as the Sharks won their ninth straight game against the Canucks in Vancouver. Their last loss to the Canucks in Vancouver came Jan. 21, 2012.
After his milestone moment, Marleau raised his stick and let out one emphatic first pump for the ages as he became just the 45th player in NHL history to reach 500 goals.
“Great night. His play is at a real elite level right now and it has been for a while,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said. “I think the guys all felt that he wanted to get it tonight. They wanted to get it for him. It’s elite company he’s in. Only 45 players in the history of the game have scored 500 goals. It’s quite an accomplishment, and all of the guys are real happy for him.”
There’s a couple barely noticeable wisps of gray in Patrick Marleau’s hair these days. A few also happen to spring up in his beard, whenever he allows himself the chance to grow it out.
Otherwise, Marleau has been the picture of consistency in his 18-plus NHL seasons in a Sharks uniform. He still displays the same deft scoring touch and speed, the same quick release, and on Thursday, a knack for making history.
“It was a great pass by Burnzie and Pav made a great pass over to me,” Marleau said. “Just trying to get it off as quick as possible and it found its way in.”
Marleau now has 19 goals in 52 games as he’s on the verge of recording 20 goals in a season for the 14th time in his NHL career since he entered the league as an 18-year-old in 1997.
“He’s an incredible player,” Burns said of Marleau. “Most guys won’t get 500 games and to get 500 goals, it’s just an incredible feat.”
Burns began the play as he skated around the Sharks’ net and fed Pavelski with a 130-foot pass near the Canucks’ blue line. Pavelski looked to his left and saw Marleau, who snapped it past Miller for a 1-0 Sharks lead.
“Caught it and knew I had some space,” Pavelski said. “They were skating and I took a look over there, and there was Patty. Just sent it over there and I wasn’t expecting anything back. It was pretty cool to see it go in.”
Marleau was playing in his 1,463rd NHL game Thursday, skating in the same building where he won the first of his two Olympic gold medals in 2010 with Team Canada. When he recorded his 1,000th career NHL point on Nov. 21, 2015, he was in Pittsburgh, the same city where he was drafted.
“You see what other guys do and kind of have an idea what to expect,” Marleau said of what Thursday’s moment was like. “The biggest thing for me is seeing all of my teammates, even getting congratulated by some of the other guys on the (Canucks).
“I saw that with 1,000 points as well. When you get it again, it’s pretty special.”
Marleau holds nearly every major statistical Sharks franchise record, including games played (1,463), goals (500), points (1,064), power-play goals (158), shorthanded goals (17), overtime goals (9) and game-winning goals (97). He joins Jeremy Roenick as the only players to record their 500th goal as a member of the Sharks.
Marleau in his milestone #Marleau500 pic.twitter.com/Jkthh2pMdP
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) February 3, 2017
The first career NHL goal for Marleau came Oct. 19, 1997 at what was then America West Arena in downtown Phoenix against the Coyotes, just a few months after he was drafted No. 2 overall by the Sharks in the first round of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.
Burns has now scored in eight straight road games, a streak that started Dec. 27 with the Sharks’ 3-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.
Tierney’s two goals give him six for the season and on any other night, the headlines would belong to him. Not on Thursday, when a Sharks icon entered his name alongside some of the greatest to ever play.
“He’s just someone you grew up watching, being a fan of and idolizing,” Tierney, 22, said of Marleau. “You’re just kind of in awe when you get to play with him.”
Source : http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/02/marleau-scores-nhl-career-goal-no-500-as-sharks-top-canucks/