SAN JOSE — Patrick Marleau and Aaron Dell spoiled Joe Pavelski’s return to SAP Center on Saturday night.
Marleau’s goal at the 2:56 mark of the second period proved to be the winner, as the Sharks held on to beat the Dallas Stars 2-1, their fourth victory in six games and their second straight without injured captain Logan Couture.
Brent Burns assisted on Marleau’s goal and also scored in the first period, as the Sharks erased an early Stars lead.
On Marleau’s goal, Burns fired a shot on net that was stopped by Stars goalie Anton Khudobin. After Timo Meier took a whack at the puck, Marleau jumped on the rebound and tapped it in for his eighth goal of the season.
Marleau was playing his 1,700th NHL game Saturday, becoming only the fifth player in the history of the NHL to reach that milestone, joining Gordie Howe (1,767), Mark Messier (1,756), Jaromir Jagr (1,733) and Ron Francis (1,731). Marleau is the only player in that group to score in his 1,700th game.
The Sharks killed a third period penalty to Brenden Dillon and got 27 saves from goalie Aaron Dell to improve their record to 5-2-2 since the Christmas break. The Sharks’ begin a three-game road trip Tuesday against the Arizona Coyotes.
The Sharks honored their former captain with a three minute tribute video before the start of their game with the Stars. Pavelski stayed near the Stars bench as he watched the presentation, a montage of his more memorable moments in a Sharks uniform.
Pavelski played 963 games for the Sharks over 13 seasons and ended his career in teal with 761 points. Pavelski signed a three-year contract with the Stars on July 1, 2019.
The Stars made themselves feel at home, too, in the game’s opening minutes. With Evander Kane serving a high-sticking penalty, Jamie Benn redirected a Tyler Seguin pass past Dell to give Dallas a 1-0 lead just 1:32 into the first period.
Burns left Saturday’s game midway through the second period after he took a hit from Stars forward Roope Hintz, but later returned early in the third.
Burns had just taken the puck from defense partner Brenden Dillon in the neutral zone and fired it toward Timo Meier when Hintz closed on him. Hintz’s leg then appeared to hit Burns’ leg on the play.
Burns then went to the Sharks’ dressing room did not play the rest of the second period. Burns did not return to the bench for the start of the third period, but came out of the dressing room roughly four minutes after the period started. His first shift back came at the 4:13 mark of the third.
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports