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LA Kings show respect for Marleau as he chases Howe’s record originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Patrick Marleau is closing in on Gordie Howe’s all-time NHL record for games played.

Saturday night’s 4-2 loss to the Kings marked Marleau’s 1,763th career game, putting him just four shy of Howe’s record of 1,767. After the game went final, Kings captain Anze Kopitar, alternate captain Jeff Carter and goalie Jonathan Quick stopped Marleau for a quick chat.

Classy move by the Kings, who have plenty of history with Marleau. Kopitar debuted with Los Angeles in 2006, Quick debuted in 2007 and Carter has been with the franchise since 2012.

The 41-year-old Marleau is expected to break the record on April 19 on the road against the Vegas Golden Knights. 

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Respect and sportsmanship still play a major role in hockey and moments like these are always special.

The Sharks played their division rival eight times during the regular season. Both teams are fading further out of the race for the No. 4 seed, so this was likely the last time they played each other this season as well.

Even if Marleau decides to return for a 24th season this fall, he could choose to skate with a Stanley Cup contender rather than stay with San Jose’s rebuilding roster. For all we know, this could have been Marleau’s final act against the Kings in a Sharks uniform. Fitting for a rivalry that has been so intense over the years.