Marleau scores 500th goal, surging Sharks down Canucks 4-1
VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Patrick Marleau scored his 500th career goal, Chris Tierney tallied twice and the surging San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-1 on Thursday night.
Brent Burns added a goal and an assist for the Sharks, and Martin Jones stopped 32 shots. San Jose improved to 8-1-0 over its last nine games to move three points ahead of Anaheim for first place in the Pacific Division.
Philip Larsen scored for the Canucks, who got 28 saves from Ryan Miller. Vancouver lost in regulation at home for the first time since Dec. 22, snapping a 7-0-1 run at Rogers Arena.
The Canucks remained three points back of Calgary for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference. Vancouver has two games in hand.
Marleau became the 45th player in NHL history to reach 500 goals, scoring at 9:30 of the first period on a San Jose power play. Burns caught the short-handed Canucks napping with a stretch pass to Joe Pavelski, who found Marleau. He made no mistake short side on Miller.
Marleau, who has seven goals and an assist during a five-game point streak, has spent all 19 of his NHL seasons with San Jose and is the first player in franchise history to reach the milestone.
The 37-year-old is also the 18th member of the 500-goal club to accomplish the feat with his original team, and his 19th goal of the season moved him into a tie with Lanny McDonald for 44th overall on the all-time list.
Tierney made it 2-0 with 4:01 left in the period when he swatted home his fifth on a rebound past a helpless Miller after some suspect coverage from Larsen in front.
San Jose, which has won nine straight regular-season games at Rogers Arena dating back to Jan. 21, 2012, could have easily been up by two or three goals early if not for Miller's stellar play before Marleau opened the scoring.
Playing their first game since the All-Star break, the sleepy Canucks woke up in the second, but Jones made a terrific stop on Loui Eriksson seven minutes into the period, and then two more on Alexandre Burrows late to help preserve San Jose's 2-0 lead through two.
The Sharks stretched their advantage to three 53 seconds into the third when Burns banged a shot past Miller for his 22nd of the season. Burns has seven goals and 13 assists in his past 14 games and leads NHL defensemen with 55 points in 52 games.
Larsen spoiled the shutout bid at 6:35 when his point shot deflected off Sharks defenseman Paul Martin and past Jones for his first goal. Tierney scored his second of the night on a power play with 5:19 left in regulation to put any thoughts of a Vancouver comeback to rest.
The play was initially waved off for goalie interference, but the call was reversed after San Jose challenged.
NOTES: Vancouver forward Jannik Hansen, who missed his 17th straight game with a sprained knee, returned to practice this week wearing a brace. He hopes to play Saturday against Minnesota.
Sharks: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
Canucks: Host the Minnesota Wild on Saturday.