SAN JOSE -- With the Sharks special teams these days, if it's not one thing, it's the other.

San Jose spent 10 days on its precarious perch atop the Pacific Division before losses to the Winnipeg Jets and Colorado Avalanche combined with a Saturday night win by the Anaheim Ducks knocked the Sharks down a peg. And analyzing special teams to help explain the two San Jose defeats should start with a penalty kill that has served the team well all season.

The Jets scored twice with a man advantage in their 4-3 win over San Jose and the winning goal for the Avalanche came against a short-handed crew that has been the sixth-best in the NHL this season.

At the same time, a Sharks power play that has been a concern most of the season is getting the job done with six goals over the past three games -- though one of them was offset by a short-handed tally given up to the Avalanche.

"Our penalty kill was winning us a lot of games early and now they've evened out a little bit with the power play being better and the penalty kill not quite shutting the door all the time," Joe Pavelski, who plays on both special teams, said after the loss in Denver.

With only six games left in the regular season, Pavelski has one suggestion to keep the opposition from scoring with a man advantage.

"You just can't give up probably that many penalties," he said. "That's the way it is. There's calls being made and we have to find ways to stay out of the box."

The Sharks have been short-handed fewer times than any other NHL team this season, an average of 2.7 times per game. But they have had to go on the penalty kill nine times in the past two losses.

San Jose's success on the power play is timed -- coincidentally or not -- to Brent Burns' move to the top unit. He replaced Logan Couture, who missed a game after being injured blocking a shot against the Calgary Flames, and since then the Sharks are 6 for 11 with the man advantage.

Couture has played on the second power play unit since his return.

  • Coming off a travel-heavy stretch that had the Sharks playing 10 games in 17 nights, coach Todd McLellan canceled Sunday's practice."

    "We'll go home, rest and get ready to play again," he said Saturday. The Sharks will try to end their losing streak at two Tuesday night against the Edmonton Oilers, the first of three games at the SAP Center this week.

  • The Sharks may only trail the Ducks by one point, but Anaheim has two games in hand. Yet by the time the teams meet in their only face-to-face showdown April 9 at the Honda Center, that gap will be gone.

    While San Jose only has three games in the next 10 days, the Ducks will play five times, including one set of back-to-backs.

    For more on the Sharks, see David Pollak's Working the Corners blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/sharks. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/PollakOnSharks.

    Tuesday's game

    Edmonton (26-40-9) at Sharks (47-20-9), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA