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Five Sharks score in win against Avalanche

by Eric Gilmore /

SAN JOSE -- The San Jose Sharks gave their Stanley Cup Playoff hopes a boost with a 5-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche at SAP Center on Wednesday.

The Sharks (38-30-9) moved within five points of the Winnipeg Jets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. The Sharks, who have five games remaining, moved past the Dallas Stars but are still chasing the Los Angeles Kings.

Scott Hannan, Chris Tierney, Patrick Marleau, Logan Couture and John Scott scored for San Jose. Alex Stalock made 19 saves in his third straight start.

"We're starting to get in a groove right now," Tierney said. "The mindset is to keep going and take it game by game. If we keep playing the way we did, fast and supporting each other, we'll get a lot of wins I think."

San Jose trails the Calgary Flames by six points for third place in the Pacific Division. The Sharks won for the third time in their past four games.

"Hopefully we can get a couple more wins here and make it interesting," Scott said.

The Sharks delivered a blow to Colorado's fading playoff chances. The Avalanche (35-29-12) have 82 points and remained eight behind Winnipeg with five games remaining.

"We want to win all of them," said Matt Duchene, who scored for Colorado. "We want to give ourselves a chance until we're mathematically eliminated."

The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 16:35 of the second period on Hannan's second goal of the season. He redirected Brent Burns' slap shot past Avalanche goalie Reto Berra from the low slot. The goal was Hannan's first since Feb. 2 against the Edmonton Oilers.

Burns extended his assist streak to five games.

"Until they scored the first goal, I thought we were right there with them," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said. "I thought we were competing well. There were a bit too many giveaways for me. But we were right there."

Tierney increased San Jose's lead to 2-0 at 8:01, knocking a rebound past Berra from close range. Berra made back-to-back saves against Matt Nieto and Taylor Fedun, but he couldn't control the rebounds and Tierney was able to convert.

"If there's an opportunity to jump into a hole I'm usually good to try to do that," said Fedun, who had an assist, his first point as a Shark. "I was able to get the puck on net and we swarmed and did a good job of getting the rebound and ultimately getting it into the net."

Duchene cut San Jose's lead to 2-1 via the power play at 8:54, his 20th goal of the season. But Marleau answered at 10:12, scoring his 18th and 455th in the NHL, moving him into a tie for 55th on the all-time list. Logan Couture sent a pass from behind the goal line to Marleau, who scored from the slot on a wrist shot.

"That was a massive goal," Couture said. "That was not an easy pass for him to handle. I kind of fired it at him and jammed him a little bit, and he was able to get it off and put it in a sport where he's scored a lot of goals. Big goal for us."

Marleau's goal quickly stopped the momentum that Colorado built when Duchene scored.

"It was unfortunate," Duchene said. "I think that the most important shifts are at the beginning of periods, end of periods and right after scoring a goal. You can see why. You build momentum with a goal. It was too bad that they were able to come right back and score."

Couture and Scott scored empty-net goals with 4:05 and 3:22 left, respectively.

Hannan left the game with 11:34 remaining after being hit in the face with the puck when Burns tried to clear it from behind San Jose's net. Hannan did not return to the game.

"He's getting stitched up," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We think he'll be fine."

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