The San Jose Sharks Patrick Marleau acknowledges the crowd at the T Mobile Center in Las Vegas before the start of the game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Mon Apr 19, 2021 (AP News photo)
By Mary Walsh
The San Jose Sharks and the NHL celebrated Patrick Marleau’s 1768th game on Monday in Las Vegas. With that game, Marleau passed Gordie Howe and became the all-time leader for NHL games played. The Sharks wore a patch with a silhouette of Marleau against a background of the number 12. Martin Jones wore a mask specially designed for the occasion. After the first stoppage of play, the game was paused for some words from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to Marleau:
“You don’t get to play in one game, let alone 1,768 just because you’re a good guy or a positive role model and beloved by fans, though you are all of those things. To earn a precious spot in an NHL lineup, night after night, year after year, you have to earn it every single game.”
The Sharks lost to the Golden Knights Monday, by a score of 3-2 in the shootout. Mark Stone scored both regulation goals for Vegas and Alex Tuch scored the shootout winner. Robin Lehner made 29 saves for the win. Nikolai Knyzhov and Noah Gregor scored for San Jose and Martin Jones made 38 saves in the loss. The game extended the Golden Knights’ winning streak to seven and the Sharks’ losing streak to six.
Sharks defenseman Nikolai Knyzhov scored at 9:27 of the first. His shot from the point whistled through traffic and over Lehner’s blocker. It was Knyzhov’s second goal of the season.
The shot count for the first was 11-11. The Sharks took two penalties in the first and their p.k. gave up three shots. Tomas Hertl left the ice hastily during the period but returned to finish the game.
Noah Gregor made it 2-0 29 seconds into the second period. Gregor turned and fired from just above the face-off circle and the puck went through Lehner and over the line. That was Gregor’s fourth goal of the season.
Mark Stone cut the lead in half on a power play at 1:22 of the second. Stone tipped a shot from Shea Theodore, sending it into the top corner. Assists went to Theodore and Max Pacioretty.
Each team had one power play and one shot on the power play in the second period. The shot count was 14-7 for the Golden Knights.
Mark Stone tied the game with another power play goal at 3:25 of the third period. Stone brought the puck up from the goal line and lifted it over Jones’ pad. Assists went to Pacioretty and Theodore.
The shot total for the third period was 11-10 Sharks. The Sharks took two penalties and the Golden Knights one. Each power play had one shot in the period. The Sharks won 46% of their face-offs in the game.
The Sharks got credit for two shots in an almost non-stop overtime period. The Golden Knights had five overtime shots.
Patrick Marleau shot first for San Jose. Lehner made the save. Alex Tuch shot first for Vegas and scored. Ryan Donato shot second for San Jose and he was stopped too. Chandler Stephenson shot second for Vegas and missed. Logan Couture shot third for San Jose and he was stopped too.
The Sharks next play on Wednesday, again in Las Vegas against the Golden Knights at 6:30 PM PT.