The San Jose Sharks (47-19-9, 103 points) fell to the Winnipeg Jets (33-32-9, 75 points) by the final score of 4-3 at the SAP Center in San Jose.
In the end it came down to special teams and in the end is what lost it for the Sharks. Well, that plus the Jets capitalized on their late power play opportunities in the third period which eventually gave them the game winner.
That game winner came with less than five minutes left on what was the remains of a Logan Couture delay of game penalty. He ended up lifting the puck over the glass while the San Jose Sharks were already on the penalty kill and created a short five-on-three chance. While the Jets did not immediately score on the two-man advantage they did score on that final power play.
The goal, which was scored by Tobias Enstrom, came on a one-timer on a pass across the crease that Justin Braun could not block. Nor could Antti Niemi, and his game winner from Blake Wheeler gave them the 4-3 lead.
To get to that point we had two pretty even periods with the Sharks scoring twice in the first while the Jets scoring twice in the second. Each team also had two power play goals, the last of which sealed the game for the Jets.
In that first period the Sharks jumped out to the quick lead when Dan Boyle scored on a deflection just two minutes into the game. But, thirty seconds later Andrew Ladd tied the game at one apiece. Brent Burns added a power play goal with five and a half minutes left in the period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead and they would take that to the locker room.
In the second period it was the Jets who scored just two minutes in, this time it was Wheeler with the goal, and once again the score was tied.
Later on, Dustin Byfuglien would give Winnipeg their first lead of the game on their first power play goal of the game on a one-timer that beat the outstretched Niemi. The San Jose Sharks would counter with a power play goal of their own though on a Couture tip-in goal as he was standing in front of the net providing a screen. After two periods it was 3-3.
In the final stanza there was just one goal, and the one scored by Enstrom which made all the difference. Again though, when it came down to it special teams were the key, and were unable to prevent the game-winning goal.
The loss hurts the Sharks mostly when considering the Pacific Division race. They now just hold a two-point lead over the Ducks who have three games in hand, and at this point it is looking more and more everyday like we will see the San Jose Sharks face the L.A. Kings in the first round.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Blake Wheeler (1 goal, 2 assists)
2. Tobias Enstrom (1 goal)
3. James Sheppard (2 assists)