The Walleye jumped all over Wheeling, but the Nailers rallied with two goals 33 seconds apart in the third period to hand Toledo a stunning 3-2 setback today.
Veterans Randy Rowe and Kyle Rogers scored in the first period to stake the Walleye to a 2-0 lead. Wheeling pulled within one with a power play goal in the second.
The Nailers then tied it at 2 on Zack Torquato's power play goal on a shot from the point with 11 minutes, 27 seconds left. Wheeling then seized a 3-2 lead as Matt Germain scored just 33 seconds later.
Toledo goalie Kent Simpson, who finished with 15 saves, gave up the tying marker on Wheeling's first shot of the third period.
Toledo (33-24-9) had defeated the Nailers in back-to-back games. The Walleye's point total remained at 75 and they sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Toledo outshot Wheeling 44-18 and lost for the first time this season to the Nailers. The Walleye had two late power plays, including a four-minute chance with the man advantage, but could not tie it.
The Walleye have six games left in the regular season, including three at home. Toledo hosts last-place Evansville on Wednesday, then Reading next Saturday and Sunday. The Royals have clinched a playoff spot and lead the Eastern Conference.