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Sharks continue road dominance and Oilers make playoff push @NHLdotcom

San Jose has been climbing toward the top of Western Conference standings over the last month. Edmonton has just been trying to claw its way back into the playoff picture.

The Sharks won their ninth straight road game with a 2-1 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night to move within five points of Detroit for the top spot in the Western Conference.

Edmonton's 8-4 victory over Phoenix on Tuesday was it's 10th win in 12 games, getting the Oilers within five points of the West's last spot.

"We were in a pretty bad situation not too long ago and made a commitment to each other and everybody has followed through with it," Oilers assistant captain Steve Staios said. "We weren't feeling that good about how we were playing but no one went into panic mode. We had confidence that if we got back to our game that we could make a run."

The Oilers are 10th place in the West, five points behind eighth-place Vancouver, Calgary and Colorado.

"We're starting to build more confidence here and a lot of guys have been really stepping up when we need it," said Sam Gagner, who had three points in the win. "These are all big games down the stretch and we need that from everybody."

In other games Tuesday it was: the New York Rangers 5, Penguins 2; St. Louis 4, Montreal 3, in a shootout; Philadelphia 3, Atlanta 2; Columbus 3, Calgary 0; Toronto 3, the New York Islanders 1; and Washington 4, Nashville 2.

In Los Angeles, Brian Boucher stopped 29 shots for the Pacific Division-leading Sharks, whose franchise-record, 11-game winning streak ended with Sunday's 2-1 shootout loss at home against Edmonton. San Jose improved to a league-best 26-8-3 on the road and is one victory shy of the club record for consecutive road wins, set in December.

Joe Thornton and Patrick Rissmiller scored for San Jose. Lubomir Visnovsky scored for Los Angeles.

Curtis Glencross scored two third-period goals for Edmonton, which has won three straight. Tom Gilbert, Sam Gagner, Robert Nilsson, Kyle Brodziak, Jarret Stoll and Dustin Penner also scored for the Oilers.

Derek Morris, Shane Doan, Daniel Winnik and Peter Mueller scored for Phoenix.

At New York, Sean Avery had his third two-goal game in a month and Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves for the Rangers.

The Rangers shook off an empty two-game trip to Florida that broke their 13-game point streak (10-0-3), slowing down the Sidney Crosby-less Penguins, who had won three in a row.

At Montreal, Brad Boyes scored his 38th goal and was the only player to score in the shootout, and St. Louis ended a 10-game road losing streak.

Blues goalie Manny Legace stopped Saku Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn and Alex Kovalev in the shootout.

Chris Higgins, Saku Koivu and Mikhail Grabovski scored for the Canadiens, who are tied with New Jersey for the Eastern Conference lead with 90 points.

At Philadelphia, Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and Vaclav Prospal scored goals and Philadelphia kept its hold on the eighth playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Antero Niittymaki allowed a goal 58 seconds into the game, but was nearly flawless in helping the Flyers to their 10th straight series win against the Thrashers.

The slumping Flyers broke a four-game losing streak and took a season-high 47 shots.

At Columbus, Ohio, Backup goalie Fredrik Norrena made 18 saves for his first shutout of the season.

Norrena - who had a career-high 43 saves in a 4-3 win against Detroit on Sunday - started his second straight game for Pascal Leclaire, out with a concussion.

Manny Malhotra scored two goals for the second straight game and Rick Nash had a goal and two assists for Columbus.

At Uniondale, N.Y., Pavel Kubina scored a third-period power-play goal to help Toronto win for the third time in four games.

Kyle Wellwood tied the game earlier in the period, and Vesa Toskala stopped 27 shots. Alexei Ponikarovsky added an empty-netter.

Rob Davison scored for the Islanders.

At Nashville, Tenn., Alexander Ovechkin had a goal and two assists to lead the Capitals over the Predators.

Ovechkin's 58th goal was an empty-netter and Alexander Semin, Nicklas Backstrom and Matt Bradley added first-period goals for Washington, which tied a season high with its fourth straight victory.

Ovechkin also earned his 100th point of the season. He is the first Capitals player with two 100-point seasons.

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