Sharks' top 10 regular-season wins, according to broadcaster Dan Rusanowsky


Editor's note: After the Sharks won their 1,000th regular-season game on Jan. 10, NBC Sports California asked Dan Rusanowsky, the voice of the Sharks, to write about his favorite wins. Rusanowsky has been the team's radio play-by-play broadcaster ever since the franchise began in 1991.

On Friday, I picked my top six "honorable mention" games that didn't quite make the final cut. For today, I've narrowed it down to the top 10 regular-season wins in Sharks history.

But instead of ranking them 1 to 10, I thought it would be best to list “Final 10” in chronological order so you can make the decision as to which games you like the best. 

Let’s have a go at it:

THE FINAL 10 (chronological order)

1. Oct. 8, 1991 vs. CGY:  Sharks 3, Flames 2
Pat Falloon scored his first NHL goal and added an assist on the game-winning tally by Kelly Kisio, and Brian Hayward held off a furious Flames rally with 36 saves. The Sharks won for the first time in franchise history in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 10,888 at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

2. April 5, 1994 at LA: Sharks 2, Kings 1
At the Forum in Inglewood, Jamie Baker scored two goals to give the Sharks the lead. Luc Robitaille took passes from Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky to make it 2-1, but Arturs Irbe made 22 saves, and the Sharks won their seventh consecutive game.

The win clinched San Jose's first playoff spot, setting things up for the remarkable playoff run and the greatest season turnaround in NHL history.

3. Dec. 19, 1995 at ANA: Sharks 7, Ducks 4
Owen Nolan set a plethora of then-Sharks records, including four goals, three power-play goals in a single period and five points as the Sharks roared to victory in Anaheim. Doug Bodger had a club-record four assists in the game.

4. Oct. 4, 1999 vs. CHI: Sharks 7, Blackhawks 1
It was a Nolan-Jeff Friesen extravaganza at the Shark Tank in this early season contest. Both players recorded a hat trick, which marked the first multiple hat-trick game in team history. Nolan also added three assists, setting a Sharks record with six points in the game. Vincent Damphousse tied a record with four assists, and Friesen ended up with 3-1-4.

Interesting note of the night: Patrick Marleau received five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct in a penalty-filled affair in which 184 minutes of infractions were issued.

5. March 10, 2002 at VAN: Sharks 7 Canucks 4
Nolan had one goal and four assists; Scott Thornton scored his 20th goal of the season, fought twice and picked up 20 penalty minutes, and Damphousse added three assists. 

But the game took on legendary status with 48 seconds remaining in the game, when Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov became the seventh goaltender to score a goal and the first to score a power-play goal in the big win.

6. Dec. 2, 2005 at BUF: Sharks 5, Sabres 0
Making his Sharks debut after the blockbuster trade with Boston, Joe Thornton hit the crossbar on his first shift of the game, then assisted on two Jonathan Cheechoo goals in the genesis of a remarkable combination that brought a Hart and Art Ross Trophy to Thornton, and a Rocket Richard Trophy to Cheechoo.

Patrick Marleau added three assists in the game, which also marked the NHL debut of defenseman Douglas Murray and the first Sharks win in the city of Buffalo. 

7. April 4, 2007 at ANA: Sharks 3, Ducks 2 (SO)
As the story goes, Sharks coach Ron Wilson was a longtime hockey memorabilia collector, so he really appreciated it when Teemu Selanne, his former winger, sent him an autographed stick to congratulate him for his 1,000th game behind an NHL bench. Coach Wilson decided to have the stick measured and found that it had an illegal width.

Playing the Ducks just days later, the Sharks found themselves heading to overtime down a man and tied at 2. Wilson chose to have Selanne’s stick measured at the start of overtime, and it was found to be illegal, causing a penalty to be called and for the Ducks' power play to be nullified. Ryane Clowe scored the deciding shootout goal to give the Sharks the victory, and Selanne uttered this famous quote after the game: “He (Ron Wilson) isn’t my favorite coach anymore.”
8. Oct. 27, 2010 vs. NJ: Sharks 5, Devils 2
Thornton scored his second hat trick with the Sharks and added two assists for a five-point night against Hall of Fame goaltender Martin Brodeur, who had 34 saves. Marleau and Dany Heatley each recorded four points in the game, and Antero Niittymaki made 27 saves to get the win.

9. Oct. 8, 2013 vs. NYR: Sharks 9, Rangers 2
On a night that always will be remembered in Sharks Territory, rookie Tomas Hertl scored four amazing goals, including an electrifying between-the-legs trick shot to finish off the Rangers. Jason Demers assisted on three of Hertl’s four goals, and goaltender Antti Niemi picked up the second assist on the unforgettable fourth goal of the game.

10. Jan. 10, 2019 at VGK: Sharks 3, Golden Knights 2
The Sharks fought off the demons of a 6-0 loss in Vegas earlier in the season, and put together a masterful road performance, despite being outshot 38-27 by the Golden Knights. Vegas had a 2-1 lead in the third period when San Jose scored two goals 39 seconds apart to take the win.

Melker Karlsson tied the game, and Joonas Donskoi got the game-winner, while Martin Jones had a great game in goal with 36 saves. It was the 1,000th regular-season win in Sharks franchise history.

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