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Even as Sharks beat Oilers, division title probably lost with five games left

Tommy Wingels scored his 16th goal of the year Tuesday night, as the Sharks beat the Oilers, 5-4.
Tommy Wingels scored his 16th goal of the year Tuesday night, as the Sharks beat the Oilers, 5-4.
(Photo by Don Smith/NHLI via Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks beat the Edmonton Oilers tonight, 5-4, at SAP Center, but it may be a case of "too little, too late" for the team to claim a Pacific Division title in 2014.

Even with the win, the team has lost five of its last ten games after it closed into a good position to perhaps even secure the top record in the Western Conference.

Alas, the Sharks have still clinched home-ice advantage for the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs, though, most likely against the Los Angeles Kings -- the division rival which knocked them out in the second round last spring.

San Jose currently has 105 points for its 48-20-9 record, with five games left to play. Meanwhile, first-place Anaheim has 106 points with seven games remaining. Meanwhile, the Kings are in third place with 94 points and six more games on their schedule.

Tonight's game wasn't pretty, of course, as the Sharks let the last-place Oilers (26-41-9) push them to the limit. Trailing 4-3 with less than ten minutes remaining, San Jose was able to rally and pull out the win on goals from Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau.

Antti Niemi was shaky in goal again, as the Sharks started the third period tied at three goals a piece. Overall, however, Niemi made 25 saves on the night.

The Sharks close with three home games in their final five, including the next two. They host Los Angeles on Thursday night and Nashville on Saturday night before heading to Anaheim on April 9. If the Ducks struggle between now and then, maybe that game will mean something.

Finally, San Jose closes the home schedule on April 11 against Colorado before finishing the regular season with a road contest in Phoenix the following night.

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