When Claude Giroux notched his 100th career point and Jeff Carter collected his 300th on the same second-period goal, it looked like a night of symmetry for the Flyers.

Instead, it turned into a night of horror.

After coughing up a 4-1 third-period lead, the Flyers lost in a shoot-out to the San Jose Sharks, 5-4, before a stunned crowd at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.

The Flyers nearly won it in overtime when Mike Richards' shot appeared to deflect off Danny Briere and through the legs of goalie Antero Niittymaki at the final buzzer.

Replays showed the puck crossed the goal line a fraction of a second after time had expired, and the goal was wiped out and the teams headed into overtime.

In the shoot-out, San Jose got goals from Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe.

Briere and Giroux failed to connect for the Flyers, who are 1-3 in shoot-outs this season and 17-30 all-time.

San Jose deposited three goals in a 3 minute, 55-second span of the third period to tie the score at 4.

Trailing 4-1, the Sharks scored two goals within 3:18 to make it a one-goal game. The second goal of that flurry was a rebound by rookie sensation Couture with 9:09 left.

With 8:34 to go, a tripping penalty on Briere gave San Jose a power play - and it took the Sharks just two seconds to make it 4-4 on a goal by Joe Pavelski.

Briere later would get called for a double-minor - high-sticking with 6:33 left in regulation - to negate a Flyers power play.

On the Sharks' ensuing power play, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made big saves on Couture and Patrick Marleau.

The Flyers were 14-0-1 when taking a lead into the third period this season.

After a sluggish first period, the Flyers erupted for three goals within a span of 4:48 in the second to take a 3-1 lead.

Trailing by 1-0, the Flyers got the equalizer on a Giroux rebound with 13:39 left in the second period. It was his 14th goal - the center did not score his 14th until March 9 last season.

In other words, he is about three months ahead of last season's pace.

Braydon Coburn's point drive was deflected by Carter, and former Flyer Niittymaki made the save but couldn't control the rebound. Giroux beat defenseman Justin Braun to the puck in the crease and knocked in the follow-up. A bad clear by Niittymaki kept the puck in the zone, preceding Giroux's goal.

Ville Leino, who missed the previous day's practice because of an illness, scored on a spin-around shot from the left circle to make it 2-1 with 9:40 remaining in the second. Leino took a feed from Scott Hartnell, who was behind the net.

Just 49 seconds after Leino's sixth goal, Nik Zherdev scored from the left side of the goal line, taking a hard-to-fathom pass from Matt Carle and ramming home a close shot.

Carle backhanded a pass past three defenders, through the legs of defenseman Dan Boyle, finding Zherdev to his left.

Zherdev has nine goals and is quietly on a 25-goal pace.

With 8:39 to go in the middle period, a wraparound attempt by Scott Nichol bounced off the skate of teammate John McCarthy and past Bobrovsky. But the goal was overturned after a review showed McCarthy kicked the puck into the net.

Hartnell made it 4-1 by tapping in a rebound off a Carle shot with 13:45 left in the game. A little over a minute later, San Jose's Jason Demers cut it to 4-2 by firing a shot past a screened Bobrovsky.

San Jose had little time in the offensive end, but still left the ice with a 1-0 lead at the first intermission.

Joe Thornton won a face-off from Carter, and Niclas Wallin's point drive grazed Giroux, then bounced off the leg of Clowe and into the net. Clowe was deep in the left circle when the carom went off him and past Bobrovsky.

The Flyers outshot the Sharks in the first period, 9-6, but didn't have much of an attack themselves. That changed in the second period, one in which the Flyers have outscored their opponents by 36-18 this season.

Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at 215-854-5181 or scarchidi@phillynews.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BroadStBull.