Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

At last it's game, Seto, match

Winger downplays his two-goal night that ended long no-points stretch

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After putting an end to his longest point-free period of the season, there was some chirp back in right-winger Devin Setoguchi on Saturday at the MTS Centre.

The 27-year-old, acquired last off-season from the Minnesota Wild, fired two goals, including the late-game winner, on Friday to end a seven-game run of goose eggs.

The goal on the other end of it, Jan. 13 against Phoenix, had stopped an 18-game drought stretching back to early December.

So after some rather quiet times following Saturday's practice, Setoguchi's customary mini-bluster had returned after he'd been playing somewhat hard to get with reporters.

'You try to skate, be physical and move pucks and be confident. You can't really just try to score. You've got to do the little things and hopefully it keeps going'

-- Devin Setoguchi

"You don't want to change things up," the Taber, Alta., native professed, desperately trying to remain consistent with the time when the results were zeroes. "You try to skate, be physical and move pucks and be confident. You can't really just try to score. You've got to do the little things and hopefully it keeps going."

He was quick to point out that being a hero on one night isn't quite his goal.

"You guys are reading into this way too much," Setoguchi said. "It's one game. I'm just going to go out there and try to continue doing what I do, and that's skate and make plays and be physical on the puck, stay within the system and try not to do too much."

Since Paul Maurice took over as the Jets' head coach, he has had Setoguchi playing with centre Olli Jokinen and left-winger Dustin Byfuglien.

"Things have been going pretty good lately but there's always room for improvement," Setoguchi said. "We had a good game the other night, but now we have to have a couple in a row."

Maurice has undoubtedly been examining Setoguchi's game in his three weeks behind the bench.

He'll certainly be familiar with the winger's in-and-out chart this season that has seen several dry spells, including one near the start of the season that earned him a healthy scratch in mid-October.

His big night Friday pushed Setoguchi to 10 goals for the season and the coach was interested in only the support side of the story.

Maurice said any discussions he had with the winger -- and you can bet there have been a few-- would remain between them.

"He just kind of reassured my game, let me know that he's watched me before and he's been around long enough and he knows how I play," said Setoguchi, who has exceeded 20 goals in a season three times in his career.

"And just to stay positive and do what I do. That's basically what he's said to me and it's been working."

tim.campbell@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 2, 2014 B3

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