The Sharks own a share of the Pacific Division lead for the first time in 97 days after a 4-3 shootout victory Thursday night over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Just don't expect coach Todd McLellan and his players to get too excited about overcoming the 13-point gap that separated San Jose and the Anaheim Ducks, who do have a game in hand, two months ago.

"I think we've got, what, 15 games left now?" McLellan said. "That's 30 points worth. That's a lot of hockey. Some satisfaction that we caught them? Yes, but lots of hockey left."

Thursday's victory featured two goals by Patrick Marleau -- including San Jose's first power play tally in seven games -- and one by Matt Nieto. There was a game-saving stop by goalie Alex Stalock in the final second of regulation and a third perfect performance by the backup netminder in the shootout that followed with Joe Pavelski scoring the decisive marker.

And it happened in a building where the Sharks have underperformed as of late, losing two games last season by a combined 10-2 margin.

"I think they learned from their mistakes of the past. That team plays hard," McLellan said. "If we weren't ready to go, we wouldn't have come close to getting the results we got tonight."

The Blue Jackets opened the scoring at 5:28 of the first period on Ryan Johansen's wrist shot from the slot. But the Sharks evened it up at 10:53 when Logan Couture made a quick centering pass from deep along the right sideboards, and Marleau deflected it past Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, last season's Vezina Trophy winner.

The only goal of the second period belonged to the Blue Jackets when Brandon Dubinsky scored eight seconds after leaving the penalty box in a sequence that featured a two-man advantage for the Sharks for 36 seconds.