On Patrick Marleau’s special night, Sharks lose to Golden Knights in shootout

The San Jose Sharks couldn’t finish off Patrick Marleau’s special night the way they hoped.

The Sharks failed to score in overtime and in the shootout in a 3-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on Monday.

Logan Couture was stopped on his shootout attempt as Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner saved all three shootout shots he faced. Alex Tuch scored in the shootout to win it for Vegas.

Marleau became the NHL’s all-team games played leader Monday, as he played in his 1,768th career regular-season game, breaking the record of 1,767 that Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Gordie Howe, “Mr. Hockey,” set over a 26-season NHL career.

After the game, all Golden Knights players came up to Marleau to congratulate him, as he waved one again to the fans in attendance.

“It’s cool to be a part of something every player in this game will remember for the rest of their lives,” Couture said.

When Marleau got back to the Sharks’ dressing room after the game after finishing a television interview, he saw that his teammates had stayed in their gear, and then gave him a standing ovation.

San Jose Sharks center Patrick Marleau (12) attempts a shot on Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (90) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Monday, April 19, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Sharks coach Bob Boughner said Marleau was, “in tears and emotional and talking about how much his teammates have meant to him over the years, and that he couldn’t get to that point without a lot of great people surrounding him. It was just it was really touching.”

After the game, an emotional Marleau was asked what keeps him going.

“I just love it,” he said, wiping away tears. “There’s nothing else like it.”

“Just extremely grateful for all the support everyone’s given me throughout my career,” Marleau told NBC Sports California after the game. “I don’t know how many calls or texts I’ve got. It’ll take me a week to get back to them. It’s been overwhelmingly humbling, to say the least.”

Marleau was on the ice for the opening faceoff at T-Mobile Arena and at the first stoppage in play, watched a congratulatory message from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Marleau also received a standing ovation from the limited capacity crowd of close to 4,000 people. Members of the Golden Knights, players, and coaches, also showed their appreciation for Marleau’s accomplishment.

Nikolai Knyzhov and Noah Gregor, two 22-year-olds who were born after Marleau made his NHL debut both scored as the Sharks, as Knyzhov scored at the 9:27 mark of the first period and Gregor scored 29 seconds into the second for a 2-0 San Jose lead.

The Golden Knights responded with power-play goals from Mark Stone, with the first coming 53 seconds after Gregor’s goal with the second at the 3:29 mark of the third period. The Sharks took five minor penalties in total.

Nothing, not even a loss, was going to spoil Marleau’s night Monday, though.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 19: Tomas Hertl #48 of the San Jose Sharks congratulates teammate Patrick Marleau #12 as he is honored for playing in his 1,768th NHL game against the Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena on April 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With this game, Marleau breaks Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 career NHL games played. in the first period of their game at T-Mobile Arena on April 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Marleau removed the No. 12 jersey he wore at the start of the game, and it was hung up behind the Sharks bench, to be sent to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Marleau said he wore about six jerseys during the game?

The Sharks, who had No. 12 patches sewn on their sweaters, spent a few minutes Monday morning going over Saturday’s 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild and talked about what they needed to do differently against the Golden Knights, who were riding a six-game win streak.

“A lot of things have to go well, we understand that,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “But there’s also a part of the game tonight where this is about Patty’s legacy. This is about trying to play a hard game to honor what he’s done in the past.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for the rest of our guys to sort of stand up and be counted on for that and hopefully give Patty a good night. Who knows how the game’s going to be, but we want to make sure that we try our best to make this as special as it can for him and his family.”

Before the game, the Sharks played an emotional video inside their dressing room at T-Mobile Arena with some of Marleau’s career highlights. Marleau also spoke to the team.

Couture told NBC Sports California at the first intermission that the video, “almost brought me to tears. Special person, special hockey player, obviously. But you take that, you put all that to the side when you talk about Patty Marleau. Just one of the best people in all of hockey.”

“They made it all about me, which is different. It should be all about the game,” Marleau said of the video. “But super special. The Sharks’ organization went above and beyond. They’ve got patches, you name it, they did it. They brought my family here. For the fans to show their support and gratitude, it’s overwhelming.”

Marleau’s wife, Christina, and their four sons were in attendance, as were several members of Marleau’s extended family.

“My wife, I couldn’t have done it without her over all these years,” an emotional Marleau said Monday morning. “She’s by far my biggest supporter. I can’t thank her enough and I can’t thank the boys enough.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 19: A fan holds up a sign in honor of Patrick Marleau #12 of the San Jose Sharks as he warms up before a game against the Vegas Golden Knights, his 1,768th NHL game, at T-Mobile Arena on April 19, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. With this game, Marleau breaks Gordie Howe’s record of 1,767 career NHL games played. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

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