Three takeaways: Marleau's memorable night; Tierney breaks out

Three takeaways: Marleau's memorable night; Tierney breaks out

Patrick Marleau, Chris Tierney and Martin Jones all keyed the high-flying Sharks’ latest win in Vancouver on Thursday night at Rogers Arena, 4-1. Here are the three primary takeaways from San Jose’s eighth win in its last nine games…

1 – Marleau’s milestone, and some other notable stats

In a few years, no one will remember a February game in Vancouver for anything other than it was the night that Patrick Marleau reached 500 career goals. He spoke to CSN at the first intermission, and expanded on his accomplishment with reporters in the Rogers Arena dressing room afterwards, indicating it was extra special that all 500 came in one sweater.

“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,” he said.

More importantly to the current version of the Sharks is just how well Marleau is playing lately, with seven goals in his last five games, including that historic four-goal third period in Colorado on Jan. 23.

“He’s been hot lately,” Pete DeBoer said. “He’s been shooting, he’s been creating chances, he’s been playing hard. He’s always been a little bit of a streaky scorer, and we felt there was a good chance he was going to get it tonight.”

Another Sharks player is nearing a milestone himself, and it may be even more impressive than 500 goals. Joe Thornton had the secondary assist on Brent Burns’ third period goal, and is now just six away from 1000 for his career. He would be just the 13th NHL player to have that many helpers.

“We’ll get there one day, we’ll get there. We’ve still got some work to do,” Thornton deadpanned. “Just so happy for Patty tonight. Just love the guy, he’s the best.”

One more historical note that can’t be overlooked, either, is what Burns is doing. According to Elias, Burns is the first defenseman in NHL history to have an eight-game goal-scoring streak on the road. 

2 – Tierney breaks out

Voted once as the smartest player in the OHL, Tierney surely realized that he might have to pick it up a bit to remain in the lineup. The third line center entered Thursday night with just one goal and two assists in his last 21 games, and with Tomas Hertl scheduled to move back to that role at some point, and Ryan Carpenter playing well, his spot was potentially in jeopardy.

He scored a pair of goals against Vancouver, his first multi-goal game of the season, and recorded five shots, tied for the team lead. He'll be a guy to keep an eye on over the next few weeks, as the Sharks coaching staff continues to enjoy the results of having strong internal competition.

3 – Jones the star

While Marleau was rightly in the spotlight, Jones was called the Sharks’ best player of the evening by DeBoer. The goalie made his best saves in second period, after the Canucks got going following a lethargic first, likely due to them having a full week off for the All-Star break.

“We had a good start. The second definitely wasn’t our best period,” Joe Pavelski said. “Joner bailed us out and made some huge saves along the way to keep that lead for us. It was nice to be able to add on a couple at the end.”

Jones’ 27th win ties him for second in the league, while his 2.19 goals-against average places him sixth. 

Considering his stats – including how many minutes he’s played this season – could Jones get into the Vezina Trophy conversation at some point? Sergei Bobrovsky and Devan Dubnyk are the top two candidates at this point, but if Jones keeps playing the way he has been, he may get more attention for that postseason honor.

Sharks overcome early deficit, injuries to finish road trip with third straight win


Sharks overcome early deficit, injuries to finish road trip with third straight win

VANCOUVER --Timo Meier's second goal of the game snapped a third-period tie and the San Jose Sharks beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

Logan Couture and Kevin Labanc each had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Hertl scored into an empty net with 25 seconds remaining for the Sharks, who are 7-2-0 in their last nine games.

Nikolay Goldobin, Alex Edler and Bo Horvat scored power-play goals and Sam Gagner had two assists for the Canucks, who lost their sixth consecutive game - their longest losing streak of the season.

Goldobin's goal at 10:48 of the first period snapped a scoreless streak of 222 minutes, 57 minutes for the Canucks, who had been shut out in three consecutive losses.

The Sharks had allowed just two power-play goals in their previous 17 games, but gave up three against Vancouver. The only other time San Jose allowed three power-play goals in a game was in an opening-night loss to Philadelphia.

Aaron Dell, making his first start since Feb. 22, made 28 saves for the Sharks. Vancouver's Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots.

Meier put the Sharks ahead at 6:07 of the third with a shot from the faceoff circle that went under Markstrom's blocker. The Canucks came close with just over six minutes left, but Hertl scooped a loose puck off the goal line.

Vancouver scored twice with the man-advantage in the second period to tie the game at 3.

The Sharks took a 3-1 lead just 1:47 into the period when Meier tipped in Brenden Dillion's shot from the point.

Horvat started Vancouver's comeback, scoring just 6 seconds into a power play. Dell stopped Gagner's slap shot but Horvat jammed home the rebound. Edler tied it with a blast from the point at 11:48. It was his first power-play goal in 88 games dating to Feb. 17, 2017.

The Sharks scored 1:10 apart in the first period to erase a 1-0 deficit.

Goldobin opened the scoring when he took a pass from defenseman Derrick Pouilot and snapped a shot from the face-off circle that sailed over Dell's shoulder. The San Jose goalie was screened by Jake Virtanen.

Labanc tied it on a power play at 14:48. Joe Pavelski's shot was stopped by Markstrom, but he managed to get his own rebound and passed it to Labanc at the side of the net.

The Sharks went ahead on Couture's 29th of the season at 16:08. He took a feed from Hertl, fought off a check by Virtanen and chipped the puck past Markstrom.

NOTES: Defenseman Chris Tanev returned to Vancouver lineup for his first game since breaking his leg Feb. 8 against Tampa Bay ... San Jose center Melker Karlsson went to the dressing favoring his right leg early in the first period after blocking a shot. ... San Jose's Marc-Edouard Vlasic left in the second period after being hit in the chest by a puck. ... The Canucks' franchise record for a scoring drought is 234 minutes, 52 seconds, set March 16-24, 2016. ... The longest goal drought by a team in the expansion era is 262 minutes, 3 seconds, set by the Minnesota North Stars from Jan. 28-Feb. 6, 1988.


Sharks: vs. New Jersey on Tuesday night.

Canucks: at Vegas on Tuesday night.

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Where does Evander Kane's four-goal game rank in Sharks history?

Sharks winger Evander Kane returns to his hometown of Vancouver on Saturday, fresh off of doing something a Vancouver-born player had not done in nearly 30 years. 

On Friday, Kane became the first such player to score four goals in an NHL game since Hockey Hall of Famer Glenn Anderson, who scored four goals with the Edmonton Oilers against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Nov. 19, 1988. It was also the first hat-trick of Kane's career, and just the fourth four-goal game in Sharks history. 

The latter point got us thinking, where does Kane's four-goal effort rank among those games? Using a rigorous, highly scientific process (read: the thoughts of this writer), we've come up with the definitive ranking. 

Without further adieu, we start with another power forward acquired in a midseason trade. 

4. Owen Nolan (Dec. 19, 1995 at Anaheim)

The Final Line: Four goals (Three power play goals), One assist, Six shots on goal

You never forget your first, so we begin with Owen Nolan, the first player to accomplish the feat in franchise history. If not for Kane and another entrant on this list (no spoilers), Nolan would still be the fastest to do it, scoring four goals in just his 27th game and just under two months after the Sharks acquired him from the Colorado Avalanche.

Nolan struck quickly throughout. He opened the scoring just 1:22 into the game against the then-Mighty Ducks, then scored his second only 57 seconds into the second period. His third and fourth, both on the power play, came 34 seconds apart in that same period. 

Just as Kane did on Friday, Nolan scored as many goals as the opposing team in a 7-4 win. It didn't quite have the same impact on the playoff race, however, as San Jose picked up its seventh win....of the entire season (in its 34th game) thanks to Nolan.

3. Patrick Marleau (Jan. 23, 2017 at Colorado)

The Final Line: Four goals (including the game-winner), Six shots on goal

The 1,459th time was the charm for the longest-tenured player in Sharks history, and the then-37-year-old Marleau became the second-oldest since 1987 to score four in a game. The oldest, Martin St. Louis, actually reached the feat against the Sharks as a 38-year-old in 2014. 

Marleau scored all four goals in a span of 13-and-a-half minutes in the third period, which began with the game tied at one. Three of those goals constituted a natural hat trick, in just a 7:42 stretch.

This game also jumpstarted Marleau's pursuit of a major milestone, as the goals were No. 494, 495, 496, and 497 of his career. He scored No. 500 a week-and-a-half later, but the four-goal game gave Marleau yet another signature moment in teal. 

2. Evander Kane (Mar. 16, 2018 at Calgary)

The Final Line: Four goals, Seven shots on goal 

Of all the players to score four goals in Sharks history, Kane certainly had the best timing. With San Jose in the thick of a playoff race and in need of a win, the newly-acquired forward delivered. 

He only needed eight games to score four goals for the first time in teal, but needed 565 for the first hat-trick of his career. The exuberance (and relief) was palpable after Kane scored his third, and that goal put the Sharks up by two. 

The desperate Flames, now four points out of the playoffs, would never get closer than that again, and Kane essentially put the game out of reach with his fourth goal 62 seconds into the third period. No Sharks player has scored four goals in a playoff game, but this one comes the closest. 

1. Tomas Hertl (Oct. 9, 2013 vs New York Rangers)

The Final Line: Four goals (One power play goal), Seven shots on goal

In just his third NHL game, and in front of his griflriend and mother visiting from the native Czech Republic, Tomas Hertl became then the fourth-youngest player in NHL history (now the sixth-youngest) to score a hat-trick-plus-one. If not for Auston Matthews scoring four in his debutHertl has arguably the most memorable four-goal game by a young player to his name. 

Of all the Sharks to score four in a game, Hertl did it the most efficiently. He only played 11:12 in that game against the Rangers, and still scored four goals on seven shots. 

Yes, it was in an October blowout, but no other four-goal game has had the same impact on the rest of the hockey world. From a fourth goal tailor-made to go viral, to the ensuing Hot Takes ("Hertl's disrespecting the game!") and subsequent jokes (Joe Thornton's still looking for four goals) it spawned, Hertl captivated the hockey world in a way no other Shark that's scored four has, and all by living his "dream, no reality."