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Tobias Enstrom lifts Jets over Sharks 4-3

  • San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi, right, of Finland, stop a shot next to Winnipeg Jets' Matt Halischuk (15) and teammate Matt Irwin (52) during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks squandered another chance to open up their lead over the Anaheim Ducks.

Tobias Enstrom scored a power-play goal with 3:36 remaining in the third period to help the Winnipeg Jets deal a blow to San Jose's chances to finish in first place by beating the Sharks 4-3 on Thursday night.

“We've let some teams that are not as good in the standings beat us and take points away, for whatever reason I'm not sure,” captain Joe Thornton said.

The Sharks have lost six games since the Olympic break, all to teams that would not be in the playoffs if the season ended now.

San Jose still holds a two-point lead over Anaheim in the Pacific Division but the Ducks have three games in hand.

“We can't give away points,” forward Joe Pavelski said. “We've given away a few too many lately. They got the games in hand. If they do their job they'll be there but there's still quite a bit of hockey left.”

Dan Boyle, Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, who have lost four of six. Antti Niemi made 27 saves for San Jose.

Blake Wheeler added a goal and two assists for the Jets, who trail Phoenix by nine points in the race for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien also scored, and Al Montoya made 27 saves.

“We talked about the playoff race for the first time tonight,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “It's a long hill to climb but this is the way we need to play every night."

Couture scored the tying goal in the second period for San Jose but then committed the penalty that led to the game-winner when he shot the puck over the glass while trying to kill a penalty.

The Sharks managed to kill 11 seconds of the 5-on-3 but couldn't kill the second penalty when Wheeler slid a pass to a pinching Enstrom, who beat Niemi.

“We're a long shot coming into the building against arguably the best team in the league,” Wheeler said. “We just tried to make one more play than they did and it worked out for us.”

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