NHL: San Jose 6, Minnesota 1

April 19, 2013 at 1:21 AM

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 19 (UPI) -- Martin Havlat and Logan Couture both had two goals in a San Jose onslaught Thursday that brought the Sharks a 6-1 win over Minnesota.

San Jose remained deadlocked with Los Angeles in the fourth position in the Western Conference, which carries with it home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. Los Angeles, however, has one more victory than the Sharks.

Los Angeles and San Jose will conclude the regular season against each other on April 27.

Minnesota slipped a spot in the standings, falling behind St. Louis into seventh place. The Wild will likely need at least one win and perhaps more in their final four games to clinch a post-season berth.

Havlat produced the only first-period goal and Couture tallied 5:29 into the second. Minnesota gave itself some hope when Pierre-Marc Bouchard cut its deficit in half midway through second, but it was all San Jose after that.

Havlat gave San Jose a 3-1 lead before the middle period was over and the Sharks piled it on in the third on goals from Raffi Torres, Joe Pavelski and Couture.

Antti Niemi made 27 saves to get the win. Niklas Backstrom was replaced in goal after giving up five scores on 29 shots.

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