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NHL: Phoenix 2, San Jose 0

March 30, 2012 at 12:50 AM   |   Comments

GLENDALE, Ariz., March 30 (UPI) -- Radim Vrbata scored both goals and Mike Smith recorded his sixth shutout of the season Thursday, bringing the Phoenix Coyotes a 2-0 victory over San Jose.

With each game involving Pacific Division teams causing a shakeup in the playoff race, the Coyotes moved into a tie with Dallas for the division lead at 89 points. The Stars, however, have a game in hand on the Coyotes and also have the tiebreak edge with 35 non-shootout victories to 32 for Phoenix.

San Jose, which would have taken the division lead with a win, is tied with Los Angeles for the eighth and final post-season position. The Sharks and Kings both have 88 points, but Los Angeles has a game in hand on San Jose and has one more non-shootout win.

Vrbata broke the scoreless tie 3:49 into the second period on the power play and then beat Antti Niemi with a wrist shot midway through the third. Vrbata has 32 goals for the season.

Smith made 37 saves while Niemi stopped 32-of-34 shots.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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