NHL: San Jose 5, Colorado 1

March 27, 2012 at 1:29 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 27 (UPI) -- Joe Pavelski scored twice Monday and the San Jose Sharks grabbed first place in the Pacific Division with a 5-1 victory over Colorado.

Andrew Desjardins and Torrey Mitchell also scored and Ryane Clowe added an empty-netter for the Sharks, who swept a three-game homestand and vaulted over both Phoenix and Dallas to gain the divisional top spot with six games remaining.

Antti Niemi turned aside 30-of-31 shots as San Jose jumped from ninth to third overall in the Western Conference.

Shane O'Brien scored and Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves for the Avalanche, who remained tied with Los Angeles for the West's eighth and final post-season berth with 86 points.

The Kings have two games in hand over Colorado.

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