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Setoguchi gets 2 as Sharks top Oilers 4-2

by John Kreiser
Devin Setoguchi and his newly shaved head gave the San Jose Sharks the kind of secondary scoring they've been seeking.

Setoguchi broke a nine-game goal-scoring drought by getting two in 98 seconds on Saturday as the Sharks downed the reeling Edmonton Oilers 4-2, San Jose's 12th win in 15 games.

"I did it once in junior when I was 18 years old and hadn't scored a goal in a while," Setoguchi said of shaving his head to change his luck. "I did it and scored two goals that night. So it's kind of weird. … It's one of those things hockey players try to switch things up when they haven't gone well in a while."

Though they've been winning, the Sharks have struggled to get goals from anyone other than its top-three forwards. Patrick Marleau scored his league-leading 32nd goal and Joe Thornton added his 13th for the Sharks, but Setoguchi's goals were the first by any San Jose forward other than Marleau, Thornton or Dany Heatley in seven games.

Setoguchi ended that drought and his own when he scored a power-play goal at 18:44 of the opening period, giving San Jose a 2-1 lead. He scored again 22 seconds into the second period and finished the game with eight shots on goal.

"It was just a matter of time until he got scoring again," Thornton said. "For him to score two tonight was a huge help for us. Just a big smile from the bench from all of us."

Thomas Greiss made 27 saves to win in his first start of the month, keeping the Sharks tied with Chicago atop the overall standings with 70 points. He allowed only a first-period goal to Denis Grebeshkov and a shorthanded goal in the third to Patrick O'Sullivan as the flu-ridden Oilers lost their seventh in a row and 14th in 15 games.

"We're not exactly on fire when we had everybody healthy, so things haven't changed much," Edmonton captain Ethan Moreau said. "They have better offensive players that capitalized and scored more goals than us. The game was played pretty evenly but they just have high-end guys that win games for them. To beat these guys, you almost have to play a perfect game."

Sharks coach Todd McLellan shook up his lines to try to get more balanced scoring, moving Manny Malhotra to the second line with Setoguchi and Joe Pavelski, and dropping Ryane Clowe down to a line with Scott Nichol and Jed Ortmeyer.

The line-juggling worked, as Setoguchi scored on both sides of the first intermission to put the Sharks ahead to stay. After Thornton drew a penalty from Dustin Penner to give the Sharks their first power play, Setoguchi fired a wrist shot from the circle that beat rookie goalie Devan Dubnyk. He knocked home Pavelski's rebound to give the Sharks a two-goal lead.

"It was nice to get rewarded," Setoguchi said. "Now I have to keep going forward and not take any steps and keep going in the right direction."

Thornton's goal at 15:36 off a perfect centering pass from Douglas Murray put the game out of reach.

Greiss earned his fifth win of the season. He had not started a game since beating Phoenix in a shootout on Dec. 31. He had only played briefly since then, replacing Evgeni Nabokov late in a blowout loss to Los Angeles on Jan. 4.

"Thomas doesn't get to play often, but when he does he always seems to come up with a really good game," McLellan said. "Once again, he seemed to play well."

The Oilers also went with their backup goalie as Dubnyk made the fourth start of his career. He has given up 18 goals in those four starts and is still looking for his first career win.

Marleau got the Sharks on the board 3:51 into the game when his centering pass from the corner got caught in Dubnyk's skates and trickled over the goal line -- continuing the Oilers' struggles in goal with Nikolai Khabibulin on the shelf after back surgery.

"It's not good for our goaltenders to have easily missed plays there," coach Pat Quinn said. "It hurts the concentration. It hurts confidence and it builds fear. And if you play with a little bit of fear you are really in trouble."

The Oilers tied it at 15:58 when Grebeshkov one-timed a cross-ice pass from Sam Gagner past Greiss for his fifth goal.

"I thought they played hard," Quinn said of his team. "That's a good team we were playing against."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.

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