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Sharks pass Stars in playoff race with 3-0 win

San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi deflects a shot from the Dallas Stars during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 31, 2012, in San Jose, Calif. San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi deflects a shot from the Dallas Stars during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, March 31, 2012, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
By Josh Dubow
AP Sports Writer / April 1, 2012
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SAN JOSE, Calif.—Joe Pavelski scored two goals, Antti Niemi earned his sixth shutout of the season and the San Jose Sharks moved back into playoff position by beating the Dallas Stars 3-0 on Saturday night.

Jason Demers also scored for the Sharks, who rebounded from back-to-back losses at Anaheim and Phoenix to close within one point of Pacific Division-leading Los Angeles and Phoenix with three games remaining.

The Stars were thoroughly outplayed for a second straight night and have gone from leading the Pacific Division heading into Friday's 5-2 loss at Vancouver to being out of the playoff picture one night later. Dallas trails eighth-place San Jose by one point for the final postseason spot and is two points out of the division lead.

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