Sharks

Sharks

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SAN JOSE – The Sharks failed to clinch a playoff spot and squandered an opportunity to move up in the Pacific Division standings on Tuesday, dropping a 1-0 decision to the Blues at SAP Center.

It wasn’t until midway through the third period that the first – and deciding – goal was scored.

Troy Brouwer tossed the puck ahead off the glass, and Robby Fabbri tracked it down. On a two-on-one rush Sharks defenseman Justin Braun played the pass, allowing Fabbri time to slip his shot through Martin Jones’ short side at 9:55, off of Dylan DeMelo's stick, for his 17th score.

Brian Elliott, who also shut out the Canucks on Saturday in the Blues’ most recent game, made 37 saves.

San Jose was on an extended power play for the final few minutes of regulation. Carl Gunnarsson went off for a delay of game minor at 17:15, while David Backes was called for high-sticking Joe Pavelski at 18:37, giving the Sharks a 38-second two-man advantage. That turned into a six-on-three with Martin Jones pulled for an extra attacker.

Nothing came of it, as Elliott ate up a Pavelski backhander with 4.8 seconds to go.

The Sharks will have to wait at least two more days before they can officially clinch their place in the postseason. Arizona, in fourth place in the Pacific, beat the Oilers on Tuesday night. They remain in third place in the division, despite the Kings and Ducks both losing in regulation earlier on Sunday. The Sharks are still five points back of Los Angeles and one behind Anaheim.

The Sharks fell to 2-1 on a season-long six-game homestand, while surging St. Louis closed out its five-game roadie with a 3-2 mark.

There were momentum shifts throughout the first two scoreless periods.

St. Louis seemed to have the early energy, and its best scoring chance came about five minutes into the game when Vladimir Tarasenko didn’t get all of his shot on a partial breakaway.

The Sharks gained steam late in the period. Tomas Hertl rang his shot off the crossbar with about three minutes left, and on the first power play of the game, San Jose’s second unit had a lengthy shift in the offensive zone just before time expired.

It was all Sharks through the first part of the second period, but Elliott denied Hertl on a Dylan DeMelo rebound chance with 7:08 to go, and got some help from Backes on a Joel Ward partial breakaway later in the frame, when the Blues captain seemed to get away with a blatant trip.

Jones kept it scoreless in the last few minutes of the second, stoning Colton Parayko who cut to the net with 2:45 to go, and holding the line on Paul Stastny alone in front in the closing seconds.

The Sharks won the first two games of the season series, both at Scottrade Center, in February.

Special teams

The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play, including their late advantages that they couldn’t capitalize on.

The Blues were 0-for-2. Over their last eight games, the Sharks are 15-for-17 on the penalty kill.

In goal

Enjoying more rest lately with James Reimer getting frequent starts, including on Sunday, Jones allowed just one goal on 24 shots, falling to 35-20-4.

Elliott was playing his second straight game since returning from a knee injury that kept him out approximately four weeks. He improved to 19-7-6 on the year.

Lineup

Marc-Edouard Vlasic (lower body) and Matt Nieto (hand) each missed their third straight game.

Hertl, Joe Thornton and St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz all saw their five-game point streaks come to an end.

Up next

The Sharks host Todd McLellan’s Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, in what will be rookie sensation Connor McDavid’s first appearance in San Jose. The Sharks are 2-0-1 against Edmonton this season, including a 3-0 shutout by James Reimer at Rexall Place on March 8.