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NHL Game Summary - Dallas at San Jose

(Thursday, March 31st)

Final Score: San Jose 6, Dallas 0

San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau tallied twice and Antti Niemi notched his sixth shutout of the season as San Jose clinched a playoff berth after cruising past Dallas, 6-0, at HP Pavilion.

Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Dan Boyle, Logan Couture and Ben Eager also lit the lamp for the Sharks, who will enter postseason play for the seventh straight season having won six of their last seven contests.

"I want us to keep going so when the [playoffs] do start we're on top of our game," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan said.

Niemi turned aside 29 shots in the whitewash, improving his record to 32-17-6 as San Jose moved four points ahead of idle Phoenix in the Pacific Division.

Kari Lehtonen yielded four goals on 33 shots in 42-plus minutes for the Stars, losers of five straight and seven of eight. Andrew Raycroft let in two more scores for the remainder of the game.

Dallas remained tied for ninth place in the West with idle Calgary. Both teams are three points behind eighth-place Chicago.

"We're running out of games," Stars forward Brenden Morrow. "It's starting to be do-or-die."

Couture upped San Jose's advantage to 2-0 on a power play with 4 1/2 minutes gone in the second period, then a Vlasic blast from the left point deflected off bodies in front and sailed in with 1:35 left in the frame.

Marleau tallied at the 2 1/2-minute mark of the third, and San Jose went up by four, forcing Lehtonen from the crease in favor of Raycroft.

Marleau netted his second of the period with 7:34 left, then Eager scored on a backhand less than two minutes afterwards. The puncher hit the right post on a partial break-in on his next shift.

Boyle's rebound chance off a spinning Joe Pavelski backhander gave the Sharks the early edge at 16:12 of the first period.

Lehtonen kept it a one-goal margin when he stopped two Devin Setoguchi breakaway chances with a minute and a half to go in the first.

Game Notes

Marleau posted his team-record 50th multi-goal effort and also set a franchise record with 12 shots on goal...Niemi has 13 career shutouts...This was San Jose's largest shutout victory since a 6-0 decision at Phoenix on November 15, 2007, and its biggest home blanking of an opponent since taking down Columbus by a 6-0 count on February 21, 2003.

04/01 02:50:02 ET

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