SAN JOSE, Calif., March 23 (UPI) -- Antti Niemi
took a shutout into the game's final 5 minutes Thursday, carrying the San Jose Sharks to a 2-1 victory over Boston.
San Jose snapped a two-game skid and stayed in the thick of the tight Western Conference playoff race, in which six teams battling for three post-season spots are separated by four points.
Joe Pavelski scored on a slap shot in the first period and Daniel Winnik gave San Jose a 2-0 lead 2:17 into the third.
Niemi's shutout bid ended when Zdeno Chara tallied on a wrist shot with 4:15 to play.
Tim Thomas stopped 25 shots for Boston, which had won two in a row.
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