Losing streak over, Sharks set to face Wild
Patrick Marleau's milestone moment helped the San Jose Sharks snap a five-game losing streak.
The Sharks hope to build on that when they play host to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.
Marleau scored Tuesday while playing in his 800th consecutive game as the Sharks put an end to their skid with a 4-2 victory against the Chicago Blackhawks.
"It feels good to get that first (goal), and we were able to build off that," Marleau said. "It's nice playing with the lead."
The Sharks were outscored 22-8 during their losing streak.
Marleau, who played for the Sharks for 20 seasons before spending the last two in Toronto, has three goals this season, all of them coming against Chicago.
Teammate Joe Thornton got the secondary assist, meaning he has assisted on 122 of Marleau's 554 career goals. According to NBC Sports California, the only player Thornton has set up more frequently is Joe Pavelski with 127.
"That's always special," Marleau said. "It's always a big moment. There probably should be a lot more assists from (Thornton) the way he sets people up. It was good to get that one."
The Sharks built a 3-0 lead before Chicago scored twice late in the third period. San Jose's Timo Meier, who also assisted on Marleau's goal, clinched the victory with an empty-netter.
"I thought we did a good job defending," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "They put a little bit of pressure on, but I thought defensively we worked really hard at it, and in the offensive zone we were harder, too. We spent more time down there and held on to more pucks. That hardness and heaviness has to be a part of our game every night."
The Wild also posted a 4-2 victory Tuesday, rallying from a two-goal deficit at Anaheim in the opener of a four-game trip. The result snapped Minnesota's five-game road losing streak.
"We've been playing really good hockey the last five or six games," said Wild forward Mats Zuccarello, who had a goal and an assist. "We've just been right there, but we haven't gotten the points."
Zuccarello's goal, his third in as many games, came on a breakaway early in the third period, tying the score.
Eric Staal scored the go-ahead goal to extend his point streak to five games (three goals, three assists).
"We got mad," said Wild forward Kevin Fiala, who also scored. "Just played better and played more simply, I think, and got more pucks on the net. After the first goal, we really got going."
Alex Stalock made 29 saves for the Wild, who came back to win after being two goals down on the road for the first time since Jan. 3 at Toronto.
"I think it was anger," Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Just like some other teams have done to us, we got mad and we started taking the play to them. That first goal by Kevin was a real goal that said, 'Hey, we can do this.' It was like, 'Oh, that's not happening again.'"
--Field Level MediaHome