SAN JOSE -– A significant lull to start the second period allowed the Edmonton Oilers to get back into the game, and they went on to hand the Sharks a hugely disappointing defeat, 6-3 at SAP Center on Thursday night.
The Sharks (41-27-6, 88 points) again failed to take advantage of the Kings and Ducks losing earlier in the night. They remain five points back of Los Angeles, which dropped its third straight in regulation in Winnipeg, and are two points behind Anaheim, which was downed in overtime in Toronto and has one game in hand.
San Jose also failed to clinch a playoff spot for the second straight game, as Arizona defeated the Stars on Thursday night to stay mathematically alive.
[PACIFIC: Ducks clinch playoff berth despite OT loss]
The Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead, and appeared to play like the game was over at that point as they came out flat and lifeless to start the second.
Edmonton took advantage with three straight scores to go up 3-2.
Lauri Korpikoski’s deflection put Edmonton the board, when he got a piece of an Adam Clendening offering at 1:39.
Later, Taylor Hall took advantage of a soft play on the wall by Patrick Marleau, ripping in his 24th goal at 8:18, unassisted. Just 45 seconds later, Clendening’s wrist shot from the point beat James Reimer on what was a stoppable shot.
The Sharks finally showed some life after that, thanks in part to their power play. After a slashing minor on Patrick Maroon, Marleau made up for his earlier gaffe by staying with his own shot in front of the net and swiping it through at 12:26, knotting the score at 3-3.
Edmonton re-took the lead with its fourth goal of the second period, though, when Connor McDavid threaded a pass through Brent Burns to Maroon for an easy conversion at 18:04.
Jordan Eberle extended the Oilers’ lead to 5-3 with the only score in a manned net in the third period, when he whacked in his 24th goal at 12:54 on a sequence that began with McDavid blitzing through the neutral zone untouched. Hall added a late empty-netter.
San Jose managed just four third period shots, although had a 25-22 edge for the game.
Including a 1-0 defeat on Tuesday to St. Louis, San Jose lost two straight in regulation for the first time since Jan. 2-7. The Sharks are 2-2-0 on their season-long six-game homestand.
The first period featured an early fight between Micheal Haley and Darnell Nurse, stemming from Nurse’s pummeling of Roman Polak on March 8. Haley got in a solid right to Nurse’s jaw in the brawl just 3:11 into the first period.
San Jose opened the scoring just 36 seconds later, when Tommy Wingels redirected a Polak floater. The Sharks upped their lead to 2-0 on a Joe Pavelski power play goal, his team-leading 35th of the season, at 11:41.
The Sharks completed the season series with Edmonton with a 2-1-1 mark. It was their first regulation loss to the Oilers at home in 10 games (7-1-2).
The Sharks finished 2-for-4 on the power play, and are 8-for-29 over their last nine games (27.5 percent).
Melker Karlsson’s late third period boarding penalty gave the Oilers their one and only power play. They did not convert, and the Sharks are 9-for-9 on the PK over their last four games.
Reimer, who shut out the Oilers on March 8 with 31 saves, allowed five goals on 21 shots. It was his first career loss to the Oilers (5-1-0).
Cam Talbot got the win with 23 saves, improving to 20-25-4.
Haley was recalled earlier in the day and played in place of Dainius Zubrus, who came out of the lineup for the first time since Jan. 24.
Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi left the game about seven minutes into the second period and did not return, for reasons that weren’t immediately clear.
McDavid, the first overall pick of the 2015 draft, was making his first career appearance at SAP Center.
Joe Thornton reached 956 assists for his career, tying Mark Recchi for 14th all-time.
The Sharks host the Western Conference-leading Stars on Saturday afternoon. They beat Dallas in overtime at home on Jan. 16, 4-3, but dropped a 5-3 decision at American Airlines Center on Oct. 31.