SAN JOSE -- Facing the Dallas Stars for the first time this season on Saturday night, the Sharks posted their second straight win at SAP Center, this time by a score of 2-1. San Jose fell behind early, as the Stars scored within first two minutes of the game, but goalie Aaron Dell didn't let anything past him for the remainder of the contest while the Sharks stormed back.
It was a memorable night for Sharks fans, as not one but two former captains hit milestones. One was facing his former team for the very first time, while the other played in his 1,700th career game.
With the win, San Jose achieved the maximum four possible points on this brief two-game homestand.
Here are the takeaways from a tightly-fought, entertaining game:
The former captain
Even before he took the ice Saturday night, all eyes were on Joe Pavelski. The Stars' forward returned to the only arena he had ever called home prior to the current season, and conceded that it would be a tad "awkward" to face the teal sweaters rather than be wearing one. There was no awkwardness whatsover, though, when a video tribute covering memories from Pavelski's 13 seasons with the Sharks was played on the jumbotron before puck drop. The SAP Center crowd responded with a very long, very loud standing ovation, and gave him several loud cheers at different points of the game.
Once the game started, however, Pavelski was all business -- as you'd expect. He played over 18 minutes of ice time, won nearly two-thirds of his face-offs, recorded two shots on goal and blocked three. San Jose managed to keep him off the scoresheet, but there definitely were plays he made that looked awfully familiar.
Fitting with the theme of the night, Sharks forward Stefan Noesen appeared to score a very Pavelski-like goal in the first period with a tip-in deflection, but it was immediately waved off due to a high touch.
The other former captain
The spotlight was on Pavelski, but Patrick Marleau stole some of it.
He became just the fifth player in NHL history to play in 1,700 career games, but Marleau wasn't some uninvolved bystander. Quite the opposite, actually. He was flying around the ice all night, and was rewarded for his efforts when he punched in a rebound in the second period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Of the players to appear in 1,700 games, Marleau is the only one to score in the milestone game.
He might not move quite like he used to, but Marleau can still absolutely fly. Not bad for a 40-year-old.
The alternate captain
The Sharks got a big scare when defenseman Brent Burns went to the locker room in the second period following a collision with Dallas winger Roope Hintz. Burns did not return to the ice for the remainder of the period, nor was he there for the start of the third period. He did return, however, midway through the third, and managed to come up with a couple big stops to keep San Jose in front.
After seeing the current captain Logan Couture suffer a fractured ankle a couple games ago, the Sharks can ill afford to lose another major contributor for any period of time.