PITTSBURGH -- San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau scored his 1,000th career point across the street from where his career began.
A little more than 18 years ago, Marleau was the No. 2 pick in the 1997 NHL Draft held at Pittsburgh's Civic Arena, which was located across Centre Avenue from where Consol Energy Center is now.
With two assists in a 3-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, Marleau has 1,001 points in 1,349 NHL games, all with San Jose.
"That's really cool," Marleau said. "Being drafted here and getting the 1,000 points here, there's some significance here in Pittsburgh. It's something I'll always remember."
Marleau, the 83rd player in NHL history to score 1,000 points, reached the milestone when he slipped a pass to Joel Ward, who one-timed a shot off Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's pad that found its way to defenseman Brent Burns in the left faceoff circle. Burns buried a wrist shot to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead 7:54 into the first period.
Left Wing - SJS
G: 462 | A: 539 | PTS: 1,001
GAMES: 1,349 | +/-: +8 | GWG: 90
Once the goal was announced and it became official, Marleau said he understood the importance of his accomplishment.
"You never know what it's about until it's done and over with," Marleau said. "I guess just having everybody coming up and congratulating me and throwing different numbers out there, it starts to take a little bit of shape how big it kind of is. So obviously, a lot of teammates are a part of it over the years and it wouldn't happen without them."
Pittsburgh acknowledged the feat on its video board during a stoppage midway through the first period. The crowd responded with applause and Marleau, who has 462 goals and 539 assists, saluted in gratitude.
"That was pretty unexpected, but a very classy move by Pittsburgh for doing that," Marleau said. "Not only for me but also for Paul Martin because he had a big game, so it's big."
Martin, who played five seasons with the Penguins, scored a third-period goal in his return. Martin said he's noticed how much of an impact Marleau has on the Sharks.
"That's pretty remarkable," Martin said. "There's only so many guys that have gotten to that milestone, and I think for a guy of his size (6-foot-2, 220) and age (36) to continue to produce and move the way that he moves and skate as fast and powerful as he does, and he's a great guy on and off the ice too as a teammate, I've noticed so far. So he deserves it."
Assistant coach Steve Spott, in his first season with the Sharks, said he admired Marleau from afar but particularly appreciates his skill now.
"I was told he was the 83rd player to do this in National Hockey League history, and boy, you think about the players in the history of this game," Spott said. "To be the 83rd player to do that is something special, and obviously, I watched him as an opposing coach and a fan, and now to actually work with him is pretty special. What he did tonight, not only for himself, but for the San Jose hockey club was very special."
Marleau, who has 13 points in 20 games this season, became the 16th player to score 1,000 points with one NHL organization, joining the likes of Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman, Joe Sakic and Stan Mikita.
"It's nice," Marleau said. "I think only so many people have done that, so it's one of those things where you can consider yourself part of that group."