Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored his 500th career goal on Thursday night in Vancouver, whipping a wrist shot past Ryan Miller at 9:30 of the first period at Rogers Arena.
“Feels good. Definitely good to get that milestone,” Marleau told CSN at the first intermission. “When you get close you just want to get it done and over with. Able to get the first one here tonight, and feeling good.”
The goal, which came on the power play on a cross-ice pass from Joe Pavelski, gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Marleau showcased his patented uppercut fist pump, and was mobbed by his teammates while the rest of the Sharks’ bench leaped in celebration. Brent Burns notched the secondary assist, firing a tape-to-tape pass up to Pavelski from deep in the defensive zone up to the offensive blue line.
“Quick up there on the power play, and Pav slid it over to me, and was able to get a quick shot off,” Marleau said. “I knew [Miller] had to move side-to-side, so I was trying to beat him short side.”
The franchise’s all-time leader in points and games played, Marleau became just the 45th NHL player to reach 500 career goals.
All of Marleau’s goals have come with San Jose, after he was drafted by the club second overall in the 1997 draft. He is just the 18th player to score 500 goals with the team that originally drafted him.
In 1463 career games, all with the Sharks, Marleau has 500 goals and 564 assists for 1064 points. He is one of just three players to have a game-winning goal against 29 other NHL teams (Brendan Shanahan, Mats Sundin). He is the second Sharks player to score his 500th goal in a Sharks jersey, joining Jeremy Roenick, who did it in 2007.
He thanked his parents and family for the sacrifices they’ve made in helping him to a long and distinguished NHL career.
“[My parents] put in all the hard work growing up, driving me to games and had to travel an hour from practice each way, things like that. The sacrifices that they made for me to be able to play in the NHL is just mind boggling,” he said.
“Sacrifices my family at home in San Jose they’re making, always being on the road, things like that. Makes it all worthwhile when you reach milestones and you win. Things are going good.”
Only one other player to reach 500 goals took longer to get there than Marleau, as Ron Francis reached the mark in his 1533rd game. Marleau’s first goal came on Oct. 17, 1997 against the Coyotes.
Marleau’s longtime teammate, Joe Thornton, is closing in on a milestone of his own. Entering Thursday night, Thornton is just seven assists away from 1000 in his career, and would be just the 13th player in league history to reach that mark.
PATRICK MARLEAU'S LANDMARK GAMES
Game #1 Oct. 1, 1997 San Jose vs. Edmonton
Game #1,000 Jan. 17, 2011 San Jose at Phoenix
Game #1,400 March 19, 2016 San Jose vs. NY Rangers
First NHL Goal Oct. 19, 1997 San Jose at Phoenix (Khabibulin)
First NHL Assist Oct. 11, 1997 San Jose vs. Boston
First NHL Hat Trick April 6, 2002 San Jose vs. Detroit
1,000th Career Point Nov. 21, 2015 San Jose at Pittsburgh
500th Career Point Nov. 15, 2007 San Jose at Phoenix
500th Career Assist Oct. 23, 2014 San Jose vs. Columbus
100th Career Goal Nov. 13, 2002 San Jose at Atlanta
200th Career Goal Nov. 22, 2006 San Jose vs. Los Angeles
300th Career Goal Dec. 26, 2009 San Jose vs. Anaheim
400th Career Goal March 10, 2003 San Jose at Colorado
500th Career Goal Feb. 2, 2017 San Jose at Vancouver