SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks are in a freefall at most inopportune time.
Dylan Larkin scored in the first minute, Jonathan Bernier had 38 saves and the Detroit Red Wings beat the Sharks 3-2 Monday night.
The Red Wings have won four of their last five games after going 1-9-3 over their previous 13.
The Sharks lost their season-high sixth (0-5-1) straight game. It’s their longest skid since going 0-6-0 in March 2017.
Larkin scored his 28th goal on a breakaway 38 seconds into the first period , faking a forehand shot before slipping a backhander past Martin Jones, who finished with 20 saves.
“It was the first shift of the game they scored, and it seems like that’s been happening too often lately,” Sharks center Logan Couture said. “We’re falling behind 1-0 early, and then you’re fighting to get back in it. We got to figure out a way to get leads.”
San Jose is in second place in the Pacific Division, six points behind Calgary, which lost to Los Angeles 3-0. The Sharks maintained a five-point lead over third-place Vegas, which lost to St. Louis, 3-1.
San Jose has just six regular-season games remaining. The Sharks have already clinched a playoff spot.
“I don’t know if there’s a complacency about where we’re sitting in the standings or what, but we’ve got to get out of it,” San Jose Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said.
Andreas Athanasiou scored his 29th goal on a breakaway with just under five minutes left in the second period.
Athanasiou has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his last five games.
Red Wings rookie forward Taro Hirose assisted Athanasiou’s goal. He has an assist in his first four NHL games.
“He’s really impressive, It doesn’t seem like there’s any panic in his game ever,” Larkin said. “He’s so calm with the puck. It’s clear that he wants to hold onto it and make plays.”
The Red Wings opened up a 3-0 lead when Christoffer Ehn scored a short-handed goal at 8:35 of the third period.
Evander Kane scored his 28th goal for San Jose on the power play 20 seconds later.
Tomas Hertl scored his 33rd goal with four seconds left in the game.
Three of Detroit’s last four wins have been against contending teams (Islanders, Golden Knights, Sharks).
“I think these are obviously unbelievable teams and they’ve got great players, and for us to come here on the road and show what we can do is huge for our team’s success and our confidence in this room,” Hirose said.
San Jose’s three most recent losses have been to teams with losing records (Los Angeles, Anaheim and Detroit).
“I didn’t think we had great energy until the third period,” DeBoer said. “I thought we had desperation in the third, but we need it for 60 minutes. We only came with 20 of it. That’s what you get in this league. I don’t care who you play, if you don’t play with the proper amount of desperation and work in your game as the other team has, and they had that tonight, you get the results you get.”
NOTES: D Dylan McIlrath made his long-awaited Red Wings debut. The 26-year-old was acquired from Florida in a March 1, 2017, trade. . F Thomas Vanek (mid body) was scratched and C Michael Rasmussen (upper body) missed his second straight game. ... D Jonathan Ericsson (lower body) returned to the lineup after missing four games. . D Brian Lashoff was sent to Grand Rapids (AHL). ... Sharks All-Stars C Joe Pavelski (lower body) and D Erik Karlsson (groin) missed their fourth and 12th straight games, respectively. . F Barclay Goodrow appeared in his 200th game. . Sharks F Gustav Nyquist faced Detroit for first time since being traded to San Jose on Feb. 24.
Detroit: At Buffalo on Thursday.
San Jose: Hosts Chicago on Thursday.