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Sharks try to avoid another post-break slip @NHL

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The last time the San Jose Sharks returned from a break, they endured one of their worst stretches in years with eight losses in 10 games.

Another dismal run like that as the Sharks return from the All-Star break could end any hopes San Jose has of making the playoffs.

The Sharks returned to practice Monday in an unfamiliar position. After posting the second best regular-season record in the NHL over the previous five seasons, San Jose finds itself in a three-way tie for seventh place in the Western Conference after an up-and-down first 50 games this season.

With only the top eight teams qualifying for the playoffs, the Sharks need to worry about making the postseason instead of things like home-ice advantage and fatigue.

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