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Hemsky's goal ends Oilers' four-game losing streak

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) -- Ales Hemsky's winning goal was more
than athletic, it was a bit artistic.

The forward beat San Jose Sharks defenseman Josh Gorges with an
inside-out deke before sliding the puck between the legs of Vesa
Toskala with 1:07 left as the Edmonton Oilers earned a 3-2 win on
Friday night.

"The kid's got unbelievable talent," linemate Shawn Horcoff
said. "It's only a matter of time for him."

Horcoff also scored as the Oilers erased a four-game losing
streak and handed the Sharks their first loss in five games.

Raffi Torres had Edmonton's other goal in the third period after
a scoreless opening 40 minutes.

Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton scored for San Jose, which lost
for the fourth straight time to Edmonton. The Sharks fell six
points behind the Oilers for the eighth and final Western
Conference playoff spot.

"At this point in the season, that is inexcusable," Sharks
coach Ron Wilson said.

Hemsky scored his first goal since earning a bronze medal with
the Czech Republic at the Olympics.

"I was trying to poke check him a little bit and I missed the
puck," Toskala said. "It's mentally pretty hard."

Toskala, who had won four straight starts, made 27 saves in his
sixth loss.

The Oilers also ended a three-game home losing streak to improve
to 14-12-4 at Rexall Place.

Ty Conklin gave the Oilers' suspect goaltending a boost. He made
19 saves in his first start since Jan. 14 and earned his first win
since Jan. 3.

"You seldom see the fans cheer for a goal, then watch it on the
video screen and cheer just as loud again," Conklin said of
Hemsky's winner. "It obviously feels great to get the win."

Conklin even sent Ryan Smyth in alone on Toskala with long
two-line pass in the second period, but the Sharks goaltender made
the save.

Torres earned his career-high 21st goal to open the scoring at
3:29 of the third period after battling in traffic to beat Toskala.

Marleau ran his scoring streak to six games with a goal 19
seconds later as the Sharks tied it 1-1. Afterward, Marleau said
the Sharks didn't get enough bodies in front of Conklin.

"If we do that, usually other things open up," Marleau said.
"We didn't get any penetration toward the net."

Thornton's 23rd goal of the season followed, but two straight
goals by Horcoff and Hemsky gave the Oilers their first win since
Feb. 6.

Oilers center Marty Reasoner, just coming off a bruised lung
after blocking a shot before the Olympics, sustained a cut on his
right ear but was back on the ice for the third period.

Oilers captain Jason Smith played his first game since Feb. 6
after recovering from a broken big toe.

"I'm comfortable with where it is at now," Smith said. "One
way to get the jitters out is to go out and play physical."

Game notes
Canadian female hockey star Hayley Wickenheiser, sporting a
second gold medal from the Turin Olympics, was honored in a pregame
ceremony. ... Oilers C Michael Peca will be out at least 10 days
after re-aggravating a groin injury.