The All-Star break apparently did wonders for Patrick Marleau.
Marleau kept climbing the NHL’s all-time scoring list with two goals Monday, as the San Jose Sharks returned from a week off and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory against visiting Anaheim.
Marleau moved past Hall of Famer Guy Lafleur and into a tie with Mike Modano for 25th place on the league’s career list with 561 goals. The 40-year-old also passed Rod Brind’Amour for 50th on the all-time points list with 1,185.
“You always want to be on the score sheet, and you always want to contribute. But, over the years, one thing I’ve learned is not to think about it too much, just go out and let things happen,” said Marleau, who will look to move up both lists when the Sharks play host to the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday night.
Marleau also became the fourth player in NHL history to score at least 10 goals in 22 straight seasons, joining Gordie Howe (24) and Mark Messier and Alex Delvecchio (22 each).
“What can’t you say about Patty Marleau?” Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon told NHL.com. “Whether it’s every practice or every game, he’s had those tough situations where you’ve had a bit of time off, and the legs might be a little heavy or your stick is a little rusty, but he finds a way.”
Stefan Noesen also scored twice for the Sharks, and goaltender Aaron Dell made 26 saves.
“He tied my idol, Mike Modano, for goals. So I don’t know if he’s my idol now,” Noesen joked about Marleau. “He’s all-world. … Someone that a lot of the guys in the league look up to, maybe in a quieter way. It’s an honor to play with somebody of that caliber.”
The Sharks (22-25-4), who are in sixth place in the Pacific Division, will have a tough test against the Canucks (28-18-4), who have won three in a row and 12 of their past 15 games to move into first place in the division.
Vancouver defeated the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues 3-1 on Monday, as Thatcher Demko made 36 saves and J.T. Miller scored twice. It was the Canucks’ ninth straight win at home, and they’ll look to continue that momentum Wednesday in the opener of a five-game trip.
“We have been playing really good hockey,” Demko told NHL.com. “Sometimes teams can get a little bit complacent during a break. It was good to get back in it. It was a huge two points against a really good team. I’m really proud of the effort.”
Miller scored twice in the second period, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead.
He has 48 points (19 goals, 29 assists) in 50 games this season, surpassing his point total of 47 last season with Tampa Bay.
“That one felt really good. We played a great team game,” Miller told NHL.com. “They had a great push in the third. We had a lot of guys putting their body on the line to make sure we got the two points. That’s as much a playoff game as it gets.”
–Field Level Media