Watch ex-Shark Patrick Marleau get ready for Penguins debut vs. Kings

Watch ex-Shark Patrick Marleau get ready for Penguins debut vs. Kings

Patrick Marleau has played in more regular-season games against the Los Angeles Kings throughout his 22-year NHL career than any other opponent. He'll face them for the 116th time Wednesday night, but in a big change from most of the prior 115, it won't be as a member of the Sharks.

Marleau currently exists as San Jose's all-time leader in points (1,102), goals (518) and games played (1,551), but he won't be able to add to those totals throughout the remainder of the current season as he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins prior to Monday's NHL trade deadline in exchange for a conditional third-round draft pick. He grew up rooting for Pittsburgh, and will make his debut with his new club when the Kings host the Penguins at Staples Center on Wednesday night.

If there's one thing missing from Marleau's Hall of Fame resume, it's the absence of a Stanley Cup. He's in a much better position to pursue that with the Penguins the rest of the way than he was with the Sharks, and Pittsburgh general manager Jim Rutherford is looking forward to adding Marleau's veteran presence to what is an already talented group.

"He can still really skate, and as you get older that's important for you," Rutherford said after acquiring Marleau. "He should be a good fit for us."

"His desire to get that ultimate prize is going to be big for him because time is running out."

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With 1,715 career games played, Marleau has Gordie Howe's NHL record of 1,767 in his sights. He'll have to return for a 23rd season in order to eclipse that target, and despite the trade, there is certainly good reason to believe he would be open to a third stint in San Jose.

Until then, Sharks fans are going to have to get used to seeing one of the franchise's all-time greats wearing colors that aren't teal -- again.

Brent Burns' 2017 OT winner vs. Rangers could've meant more to Sharks


Brent Burns' 2017 OT winner vs. Rangers could've meant more to Sharks

Programming note: Relive Brent Burns' overtime winner against the New York Rangers from 2017 when NBC Sports California re-airs the classic game on Saturday, March 28 at 3 p.m.

It could have been a turning-point moment in the 2016-17 Sharks' season.

Peter DeBoer's club entered the March 28, 2017 game against the New York Rangers at SAP Center having lost six consecutive games. With the Stanley Cup Playoffs on the horizon, DeBoer knew the Sharks needed to get back to playing their brand of hockey if they were going to make any noise in the postseason.

The Sharks raced out to a 3-1 lead thanks to goals from Jannik Hansen, Melker Karlsson and Chris Tierney. With Martin Jones recording several quality saves through the first period-and-a-half, the Sharks looked to be well on their way to an easy win.

But the Rangers came storming back, scoring three unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead and quiet what had been a raucous SAP Center. With a seventh straight loss barrelling toward them, the Sharks dug deep to snap their losing streak. Tierney scored his second goal of the game at 17:45 in the third period, tying the game and sending the contest to OT.

That's when Brent Burns, amid a 16-game goal-scoring drought, one-timed a pass from Joe Pavelski past Henrik Lundqvist to put the Sharks back in the win column.

“We needed a win. That’s the bottom line. We needed a win, whatever it looked like,” Sharks coach Pete DeBoer said after the win. “I’m glad it looked the way it did because I thought we strung some really good stretches where I thought we looked like we should look.

“The fact we won and got that monkey off our back and how we won and how we looked for long periods makes me feel good about it.”

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Burns lighting the lamp in OT to snap a dreaded six-game losing streak should have been the catalyst for something bigger. The Shark's forward depth was on full display that night and they were expecting to get Logan Couture back in the coming days. Unfortunately for the 2017 Sharks, the feeling was short-lived. Their inconsistent play continued to hamper them down the stretch. The Sharks finished the season 3-3 and then lost to the Edmonton Oilers in six games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Nevertheless, it's certainly a game that's worth re-living during these unprecedented times.

Sharks' Joe Thornton joined Hall-of-Fame company with 400 career goals


Sharks' Joe Thornton joined Hall-of-Fame company with 400 career goals

Programming note: Watch the re-air of Joe Thornton's 400th career NHL goal tonight at 8 p.m. PT on NBC Sports California.

Joe Thornton picked a great time to notch his 400th career goal.

Back on Nov. 13, 2018, the Sharks welcomed the Nashville Predators to SAP Center, who led the NHL with 27 points at the time. At first, San Jose appeared to be more than up to the task, opening up a 3-0 lead in the first period, which easily could have been larger.

Then, it all started going south.

The Sharks were held scoreless in the second period while the Predators climbed all the way back to tie the score. Less than three minutes into the third, Nashville took its first lead of the night.

For the next 10 minutes of game action, it sure seemed like San Jose would end up kicking itself for blowing a three-goal lead. But then Joe Pavelski tied the score at 4-4 with a goal with just under seven minutes remaining. 13 seconds later, it was Thornton's turn to play the hero.

Before the Predators had a chance to catch their breath, Justin Braun found Marcus Sorensen with a stretch pass from San Jose's own defensive zone. As Sorensen broke into Nashville territory, he made a Thornton-like cross-ice pass to the former Hart Trophy winner, who promptly fired the puck into the back of the net to retake the lead.

The Sharks would hold on the rest of the way to secure the thrilling 5-4 victory over a conference rival, and while the two points surely came in handy, Thornton's 63rd career game-winning goal stood out for another reason.

It was the 400th of his career.

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Don't remember? Don't worry. This memorable game will be re-aired Friday at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports California.

While there have now been 99 players throughout NHL history to accumulate at least 400 goals, there are only 13 who have totaled at least 1,000 assists. By scoring the game-winner that night, Thornton became the 11th player in NHL history to accomplish both feats.

Of the 11 players included on that list, only Thornton and Jaromir Jagr have not been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Jagr called it a career in 2017-18, so it's only a matter of time until he joins the group. Thornton says he feels like he has multiple seasons left in him, but the same goes for him.