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NHL: San Jose 3, Dallas 0

April 1, 2012 at 1:56 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 1 (UPI) -- Antti Niemi recorded his sixth shutout of the season Saturday and the San Jose Sharks got into playoff position by shutting out Dallas 3-0.

Niemi turned aside all 22 shots he saw and Joe Pavelski scored his 30th and 31st goals for the Sharks, who reached the 40-win plateau for the eighth straight year and grabbed sole possession of the eighth and final Western Conference playoff slot.

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Jason Demers also scored as San Jose took the first game of a crucial home-and-home series with Dallas.

Kari Lehtonen stopped 31-of-34 shots for the Stars, who lost for the sixth time in nine games.

Ninth-place Dallas fell one point behind the Sharks with three games remaining for both squads.

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