VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- There was as much relief as celebration for Patrick Marleau when he scored his 500th NHL goal Thursday night.
Marleau wrote his name in the record books at 9:30 of the first period, scoring on a power play as the San Jose Sharks defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-1.
"It was good to get it out of the way," the 19-year veteran said. "I could play the rest of the game from then on."
Marleau became the 45th player to score 500 goals and the first to reach the milestone with the Sharks. Having spent his entire career with San Jose made the goal even more special.
"Playing with one club, and playing with a lot of guys for a lot of years on this team, it means a lot to share that with them and see how happy they are for you," said the 37-year-old from Aneroid, Saskatchewan, who has seven goals and an assist in his last five games.
Marleau's goal came 15 seconds after Vancouver defenseman Troy Stecher was called for interference.
Brent Burns started the play with a pretty pass from deep in his own zone that found Joe Pavelski at the blue line. Pavelski passed to Marleau, who beat Canuck goaltender Ryan Miller with a shot high to the blocker side for his 19th of the season.
"It's pretty special," said Marleau, who was mobbed by his teammates.
"You see what other guys do and you kind of know what to expect. The biggest thing for me is just seeing all my teammates and even getting congratulated by some of the guys on the other team."
Pavelski praised Marleau for he's meant to the Sharks.
"He's been playing great, playing extremely hard," Pavelski said. "He's led this team for the last little bit and he's really pushed us over the stretch for some tough games. It's what we expect of him. We're really happy for him."
Burns, who had a goal and an assist, called Marleau "an incredible player."
"Most guys won't get to 500 games," Burns said. "To get 500 goals, it's just an incredible feat.''
Chris Tierney scored twice for San Jose (33-17-2).
The Sharks, who lost last year's Stanley Cup final to Pittsburgh, have been on a roll. They are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and have not lost in Vancouver in more than five years.
"We've got so many superstars, Hall of Famers on this team, and it's pretty cool to be part of that," Tierney said. "When they are playing the way they are, it kind of raises everybody's game. All four lines want to live up to those expectations."
Philip Larsen scored for the Canucks (23-22-6).
It was Vancouver's first game after the all-star break and it showed. The Canucks had trouble finding their legs early and trailed 2-0 after the first period.
Vancouver rebounded to outshoot San Jose 27-19 over the last two periods, forcing Sharks netminder Martin Jones to make several big saves.
"We were a little sluggish in the first," the Canucks' Daniel Sedin said. "After that I thought we played a good enough game.
"We played a good enough game to get some points but we have to be a little bit better."
The Sharks are first in the Pacific Division with 68 points and three back of Minnesota for the overall Western Conference lead.
Vancouver trails St. Louis by three points in the race for the final wild card playoff spot.
Coach Willie Desjardins said the Canucks dug themselves an early hole they couldn't climb out of.
"I thought it hurt us in the first period," he said.
"I thought we carried some of the game to them, during the last half of the second and even in the third. We are going to have to play good for 60 to 65 minutes if we are going to win. We didn't tonight and we didn't win."
-- The Canucks were 6-3-3 in January, going 3-1-0 versus Colorado and Arizona -- the two worst teams in the NHL.
-- Vancouver's previous home regulation loss was Dec. 22 against Winnipeg.
-- C Reid Boucher and D Alex Biega were healthy scratches.
-- RW Jannik Hansen, who missed his 17th game with a sprained knee, is practicing with a brace and is expected to return to the lineup Saturday when the Canucks play Minnesota.
-- After not playing each other for 309 days, the Canucks and Sharks face each other five times in 66 days.
-- The Sharks' last loss in Vancouver was Jan. 21, 2012.
-- RW Joonas Donskoi (upper body) didn't travel to Vancouver and missed his fourth consecutive game.
-- C Micheal Haley and D Tim Heed were healthy scratches.
-- Five of San Jose's next six games are on the road.
-- The Sharks return home to play Arizona Saturday.