When the epitaph on the Flyers' frustrating season is written, it will read: Fell out of contention because they could not beat non-playoff teams late in the season.

It happened again Saturday afternoon as San Jose, which will miss the playoffs for the first time since 2003, scored a 3-2 shootout win at the Wells Fargo Center.

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Brent Burns won it on a backhander in the fifth shootout round.

The Flyers have lost 10 straight (0-6-4) against teams not in a playoff spot when they met.

"I don't think we put enough pucks on the net today," said Jake Voracek, who had two assists but fell two points behind Sidney Crosby (78 points), who had three points Saturday, in the race for the NHL scoring title.

Playing with a makeshift defense, the Flyers were outshot, 44-18 - their largest deficit since 2008.

Voracek called the shootout a "lottery." The Flyers are 3-10 in shootouts this season and an NHL-worst 30-61 all-time.

Next season, there will be fewer shootouts if the league adopts a three-on-three format for all or part of overtime.

"It cannot be worse," Voracek said of results after regulation. "Obviously, it's going to benefit us, but you have to find a way to win those games."

At least this time, the Flyers had a legitimate excuse for being outplayed: Because of injuries and illnesses, half of their defense was composed of AHL call-ups - Brandon Manning, Oliver Lauridsen, and Mark Alt. Those players had played a combined 29 NHL games before Saturday, when Alt made his debut.

"I thought we battled and the guys did a pretty good job that were just called up," coach Craig Berube said. "We gave ourselves a chance to win."

Manning played 25 minutes, 7 seconds and was plus-1 with three blocked shots, two hits, and two giveaways. Alt (9:25, minus-1) and Lauridsen (10:26, minus-1), called up because Mark Streit and Carlo Colaiacovo were battling the flu, were sent back to Lehigh Valley after the game.

In the shootout, Voracek scored on the Flyers' first attempt, but Claude Giroux (1 for 11 this season), Matt Read (0 for 5), Sean Couturier (1 for 8), and Vinny Lecavalier (0 for 4) failed to connect. The latter four players are a combined 2 for 28 (7.1 percent) this season.

"I was trying to go high glove and trying to surprise him, and it didn't work out," Giroux said.

Giroux's power-play goal from his office - the top of the left circle - knotted the score at 2 with 11:23 left in the third period.

The Sharks, who lost the services of talented defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic to a first-period injury, dominated the overtime, but goalie Steve Mason stood tall for the Flyers.

Joe Pavelski scored a controversial power-play goal with 3:15 left in the opening period to give San Jose a 2-1 lead.

Maneuvering behind the goal line about 15 feet from the net, Pavelski's pass deflected off Manning's skate and went toward Mason as a whistle was blown because the ref lost sight of the puck. The puck snuck between Mason's pads - after the whistle - and dribbled into the net.

The referees ruled no goal, but the NHL Situation Room in Toronto overruled the decision, saying the puck crossed the goal line at the "culmination of a continuous play where the result was unaffected by the whistle."

"I felt it hit me, but didn't realize where it was," Mason said. "Unfortunately, it just kept going."

In the opening period, left winger Michael Raffl tied the score at 1 on a rebound, giving him 20 goals (in 61 games) for the first time in his two-year career.

scarchidi@phillynews.com

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