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game recap

Byfuglien's late goal lifts Jets past Sharks

Defenseman scores with 9.9 seconds remaining; San Jose will finish third in Pacific

by Eric Gilmore / Correspondent

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks will hit the road for the first two games of their Western Conference First Round series after yet another loss at home.

Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien scored with 9.9 seconds left in the third period to give the Winnipeg Jets a 5-4 victory against the Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday. The loss assured that the Sharks will finish third in the Pacific Division and open their Western Conference First Round series on the road against the Los Angeles Kings or Anaheim Ducks.

The Sharks (45-30-6), who clinched a playoff berth on March 28, lost for the fifth time in their past six home games and fell to 17-20-3 at SAP Center, where they finish their regular season on Saturday against the Arizona Coyotes.

"There are a lot of issues of how we played that we're not happy with," forward Tommy Wingels said. "We've got to figure out how to win at home. That's certainly a concern for us. We didn't play with a playoff-type mentality.

Video: WPG@SJS: Byfuglien nets go-ahead goal in last seconds

"You can't get into the rush game in the playoffs. You can't turn pucks over in the neutral zone. You can't turn pucks over coming out of the zone, and that's what we did numerous times. You feed the other team going with speed and it's tough to defend. Certainly, our penalty kill can use some work too. Those are some big concerns for us going into the playoffs. Yeah, we're going to move on, but certainly there are things we can tighten up and work on."

Byfuglien's shot from the right point deflected off Sharks defenseman Brent Burns' stick in the slot and went past goaltender Martin Jones. Mark Scheifele scored twice for the Jets; Andrew Copp and Blake Wheeler had goals late in the second period.

Ondrej Pavelec stopped 21 of 25 shots for Winnipeg (33-39-8), which won its season-high third straight game and finishes its season Saturday at Los Angeles.

'We have guys here who love to compete, and we get to do it one more time before next year," Wheeler said. "We moved it well, caught them out of position and got in behind them a few times and got a couple of good bounces."

Video: WPG@SJS: Marleau feeds Thornton for PPG

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton, Paul Martin and Patrick Marleau scored for the Sharks, who couldn't hold leads of 3-1 and 4-3. Jones made 21 saves.

"Burn the tape," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "Nothing pretty tonight. Any time you don't play well it's disappointing, but I recognized the circumstances, I understand it a little bit. We haven't made a habit of it and I'm sure we'll bounce back."

The Sharks led 1-0 after the first period and 3-1 with less than five minutes left in the second, but Copp and Wheeler scored in a 1:02 span to tie the game.

"It's good to battle back from being down 3-1, but to be honest, there's less intensity in these games and I'm not going to get excited about winning three in a row," Jets coach Paul Maurice said.

Video: WPG@SJS: Copp's tally cuts into deficit

"These games don't tell you anything about how we're doing. These games are not a whole lot of fun to play. I appreciate the leadership on the team and the effort. We're out of the playoffs and we have a lot of young guys who go out and play hard."

Scheifele appeared to score at 3:28 of the third period after a Sharks turnover, but the goal was waved off after a video review determined the puck was kicked into the net.

San Jose took a 4-3 lead at 7:03 of the third on Marleau's 25th goal of the season. His wrist shot from the right circle deflected off Byfuglien's stick, then hit Scheifele's back and went past Pavelec.

But Scheifele tied it 4-4 at 12:02 with his second goal of the game and 29th of the season. He knocked a rebound past Jones from close range for a power-play goal.

Video: WPG@SJS: Scheifele's backhand PPG ties the game

"I felt good all night, really," said Jones, who started for the first time since March 31. "Just kind of one of those games, they had some stuff around the net. A couple off our guys and in. I felt good in there tonight."

Pavelski gave San Jose a 1-0 lead at 11:16 of the first period with his team-high 37th goal, converting a pass from Thornton.

Winnipeg tied it 1-1 when Scheifele scored on the power play at 9:03 of the second period with Nick Spaling in the penalty box for slashing. His attempted cross-ice pass bounced off Sharks defenseman Roman Polak's right skate and went between Jones' pads. Wheeler got the primary assist, extending his point streak to 10 games, the longest active streak in the NHL. Scheifele extended his point streak to nine games.

San Jose went ahead 2-1 on Thornton's power-play goal at 11:42. Thirty-seven seconds after Byfuglien went to the penalty box for holding, he took a cross-ice pass in the right circle from Marleau and beat Pavelec with a wrist shot inside the right post for his 19th of the season.

Video: WPG@SJS: Wheeler scores on the forehand, knots game

Martin made it 3-1 with a power-play goal at 15:34, beating Pavelec with a slap shot from the point after Joel Ward won a faceoff in the right circle. It was his goal was his third of the season and first since Jan. 26.

But Byfuglien set up Copp's sixth of the season at 17:59, and Wheeler tied it at 19:01 with his 25th of the season.

"They're a team, when you feed their rush they've got players that can make the plays," Pavelski said. "We fed that a little bit too much. We got a little stubborn there in the second and in the third where we just didn't want to lay it in. We kept finding ourselves with the lead and kept playing with fire."

DeBoer said he didn't think the Sharks relaxed after taking a two-goal lead, but he didn't like the way they played.

"We let them get inside on us," DeBoer said. "We got soft defensively. I don't know if 'relax' is the word, but I can't remember another game this year where we've kind of allowed a team to jump back in like that so I'm going to chalk it up to the circumstances and we'll move forward."

Video: Scheifele scores twice, Jets top Sharks late

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