San Jose Sharks winger Patrick Marleau tied an NHL record by scoring four goals in a single NHL period Monday night. Even more impressively, all four goals came in the final 18 minutes of a thrilling 5-2 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.
It’s just the 12th time in NHL history that anybody has scored four goals in a period, and the first time since Mario Lemieux in 1997.
It turns out that even when you’re a 37-year-old star like Marleau, there are still new horizons to be discovered in the NHL. The winger has played in 1,459 NHL games and recorded 497 goals, but that was the first time he’s ever scored four times in one game.
The game was largely quiet through two periods, with the Sharks and Avalanche tied at one goal apiece. That’s when Marleau decided to take over, putting up a 20-minute stretch that carved its way into the record books.
Marleau’s first goal came roughly three minutes into the period on a deflected shot in front of the net. Marc-Edouard Vlasic fired the originating shot from near the blue line, and Marleau got good wood on the puck just in front of the crease to beat the goalie.
The second goal was a textbook wraparound play by Marleau, and the third came on a 2-on-1 rush with Joe Pavelski that ended with the winger launching a quick one-timer into the open net. That score brought all the hats, which briefly delayed the game as the ice crew cleaned up the celebration.
So a hat trick in one period — pretty amazing, huh? It turns out Marleau had one more in him. With just over three minutes left in the game, Marleau managed to get behind the defense for a breakaway, which he capitalized on with a beautiful backhand move to make history.
It was an incredible individual performance by Marleau, and we know at least one person who is definitely jealous. Don’t worry, Joe Thornton, hopefully you’ll get that four-goal game one day.