DENVER (AP) — Semyon Varlamov had a season-high 47 saves and the Colorado Avalanche clinched their first playoff berth in four years with a 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Joe Pavelski and Dan Boyle scored for the Sharks, who are 1-2-2 in their past five games but still hold a slim lead for first place in the Pacific over Anaheim.
Goalie Alex Stalock had 19 saves for San Jose before being pulled for an extra attacker in the final minute.
Center John Mitchell had a goal and an assist for the Avalanche, who moved past Chicago into second place in the Central Division with 100 points in what might have been a costly victory.
Center Matt Duchene suffered a left knee injury on the opening shift Saturday when he collided with teammate Jamie McGinn near the Sharks blue line. He fell to the ice and then gingerly skated to the bench.
Mitchell moved up to center Colorado’s top line, and came through with a big power-play goal to give Colorado a 3-1 lead at 6:32 of the second period.
Mavs squeak by Sacramento
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki scored 19 points, and the Dallas Mavericks avoided a potentially serious blow to their playoff hopes by rallying in the fourth quarter for a 103-100 victory against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday night.
Rudy Gay scored 30 for the Kings.
The Mavericks blew a 17-point lead and trailed by five in the fourth quarter before recovering for their 20th straight regular-season win at home against Sacramento, the longest against any opponent in franchise history.
Dallas (44-30) is in a virtual tie with Memphis (43-29) for eighth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Phoenix. The Mavericks have eight games left and finish the regular season at the Grizzlies.
Monta Ellis had 17 points and six assists and Sam Dalembert added 15 as Dallas avoided a second loss to a West also-ran on a franchise-record eight-game homestand that ends Tuesday night against Golden State.