SAN JOSE, Calif. – Devin Setoguchi scored a pair of goals in a span of 1:38 to provide the punch San Jose has been lacking on its second line and the Sharks went on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-2 Saturday.
Patrick Marleau scored his league-leading 32nd goal and Joe Thornton added his 13th for the Sharks, who have won 12 of 15 games to remain tied with Chicago for the most points in the league.
Despite that success, San Jose has struggled to get production outside of its top line of Marleau, Thornton and Dany Heatley. The Sharks went six games without a goal from any other forward until Setoguchi broke through with two to snap a nine-game goal-scoring drought.
Thomas Greiss made 27 saves to win in his first start of the month, allowing a first-period goal to Denis Grebeshkov and a short-handed goal in the third to Patrick O’Sullivan.
The Oilers have lost seven straight and 14 of 15 overall.
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 revamped second line delivered with the goals by Setoguchi on both sides of the first intermission. After Thornton drew a penalty from Dustin Penner to give the Sharks their first power play, Setoguchi made the Oilers pay with a wrist shot from the circle that beat rookie goalie Devan Dubnyk with 1:16 remaining in the first period.
Then just 22 seconds into the second period, Setoguchi knocked home Pavelski’s rebound of a shot by to make it 3-1. Thornton’s goal late in the period off a perfect centring pass from Douglas Murray put the game out of reach.
That helped Greiss earn 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.
Greiss wasn’t tested often, but did come far out of his net to break up a scoring chance by Jean-Francois Jacques in the second period and made a tough save on Sam Gagner early in the third.
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 first when his centring pass from the corner got caught in the skates of Dubnyk and trickled over the goal line. The Oilers tied it when Grebeshkov one-timed a cross-ice pass from Gagner past Gagner for his fifth goal.
NOTES: This was one of just two scheduled home day games all season for the Sharks. … Thornton got his 50th assist of the season on Marleau’s first-period goal. With his goal in the second, Thornton tied Owen Nolan for second in Sharks history with 451 career points. … The Sharks recalled forward Benn Ferriero from Worcester of the AHL and sent John McCarthy back to the minors. … The Oilers have won just one game since winning at St. Louis on Dec. 11.