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NHL: San Jose 3, Minnesota 2

SAN JOSE, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- Patrick Marleau scored the tiebreaking goal 5 minutes into the third period Thursday, giving the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win over Minnesota.

The Sharks stayed three points in front of Phoenix in the race for the Pacific Division title. Minnesota fell further out of playoff contention by losing its fourth straight.

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San Jose twice took a one-goal lead only to have Minnesota tie it. Jamal Mayers and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks and Minnesota had goals from John Madden and Kyle Brodziak.

It was a 2-2 contest when Minnesota's Clayton Stoner was sent to the penalty box for holding. Marleau capitalized 38 seconds later by putting a wrist shot past Niklas Backstrom.

Antti Niemi made 28 saves in picking up the win.

Backstrom was under constant assault and stopped 47-of-50 shots.

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