SAN JOSE, Calif. - Patrick Marleau scored two goals, Evgeni Nabokov made 24 saves and the San Jose Sharks snapped their three-game winless streak with a 4-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night.
Joe Thornton also scored, and Joe Pavelski extended his goal-scoring streak to four games as the Sharks finally figured out how to beat longtime nemesis Dwayne Roloson, the Edmonton goalie who's been responsible for several of San Jose's most significant home losses over the past four seasons.
Marleau, the Sharks' captain and all-star centre, scored the go-ahead goal short-handed on a setup pass from Mike Grier early in a fight-filled second period.
The win was uncommonly important for the stumbling Sharks, who held off Detroit atop the Western Conference standings over the past two weeks despite their season-worst 1-2-4 slump, including four losses on their just-completed five-game road trip. San Jose improved its league-best home record to 24-2-3 while moving three points ahead of the Red Wings with two games in hand.
Zack Stortini and Erik Cole scored first-period goals for the Oilers, whose three-game winning streak was snapped in a building where they had won three straight and posted several landmark victories over the past half-decade. Edmonton hasn't won four in a row since its first four games of the season.
Roloson made 27 saves for the Oilers, who beat Los Angeles and Phoenix in the first two stops of their four-game road trip, which ends Thursday in Dallas. The 39-year-old goalie was solid, but he never transformed into the puck-stopping dynamo that he usually becomes when he visits the Shark Tank.
The clubs combined for 56 penalty minutes in the second period, including two fights and several additional scuffles that could have been rung up as major penalties. Even 43-year-old Claude Lemieux got into the act, losing a fight to 21-year-old Theo Peckham and then getting a misconduct for trying to keep the brawl going.
Marleau tied it at 2 with a goal early in the second period, getting his 600th career NHL point. Marleau's tripping penalty moments later helped put the Sharks at a 5-on-3 disadvantage, but San Jose killed it off - and a turnover then set up Marleau and Grier on a break.
Marleau tucked home Grier's pass for his 32nd goal of the season, just two shy of his career high from 2005-06.
Thornton scored with 53 seconds left in the second period on a remarkable rebound goal after Marleau broke his stick moments earlier. The goal was just Thornton's second in 12 games, and the former league MVP isn't regularly on a line with Marleau any more while coach Todd McLellan looks for more production from his first and third lines.
The Oilers - and Roloson in particular - have been among the Sharks' toughest opponents for the past four years, ever since the veteran goalie backstopped eighth-seeded Edmonton past San Jose in the second round of the 2006 playoffs.
Roloson made 48 saves in a win at the Shark Tank last March, snapping San Jose's franchise-record 11-game winning streak. He then stopped 41 shots in a 3-2 overtime win in San Jose on Dec. 6, ending the Sharks' nine-game streak.
Lemieux remained scoreless in his 11 games since ending his 5 1/2-year NHL absence by signing with the Sharks. At least he finally cracked the stat sheet with his first 15 penalty minutes of the season from his punch-up with Peckham, playing in his sixth career NHL game.
Lemieux, playing in his 1,208th career game, lost the fight and then attempted to hit Peckham after the linesmen had separated them, earning a misconduct.
Notes: Edmonton had four players in its penalty box while killing 75 seconds of a two-man disadvantage in the second period. ... San Jose hasn't gone winless in four straight games since Feb. 2008. ... Sharks all-star D Dan Boyle returned after missing Sunday's game at New Jersey with the flu.