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Liles scores in OT, Avalanche beat Sharks

DENVER (AP) — John-Michael Liles redirected Ryan Wilson's shot into the net at 2:59 of overtime, and the Colorado Avalanche beat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 on Sunday night to gain ground in the race for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot.

The victory snapped the Avalanche's season-high four-game losing streak and gave them a two-point lead over ninth-place Calgary, a 4-1 loser at Chicago on Sunday. Colorado has four games left, one more than Calgary.

The Sharks remained the top seed in the West, but the loss allowed Washington to clinch the Presidents' Trophy for the best regular-season record.

Peter Mueller, who had his third two-goal game since joining the Avalanche in a March 3 trade with Phoenix, left the game dazed after crashing into the boards following a check by San Jose defenseman Rob Blake.

Down 2-0, Colorado scored four straight goals, going in front on Peter Mueller's second goal of the night.

Matt Duchene set up the go-ahead score with a rush on net. He broke up the charge with a drop pass to the trailing Mueller, who wristed a shot from the slot that got over Evgeni Nabokov's glove at 18:07 of the second.

Paul Statsny scored his 19th goal of the season 20 seconds into the third period, a power-play score, to put the Avalanche up by two goals.

But San Jose tied at 4 on Patrick Marleau's 43rd goal of the season with 11:47 left. Joe Pavelski started the rally with a rebound shot with 5:19 remaining.

Mueller, who has scored nine of his 12 goals this season while with the Avalanche, tied it at 2 earlier in the second with a shot from the upper right circle.

The Avalanche got on the board with a breakaway at 13:41 of the first period. After a San Jose turnover, Ryan O'Reilly rocketed a lead pass to the streaking Kyle Quincey, who beat Nabokov on the stick side with a wrist shot.

San Jose took a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by Douglas Murray and Jamie McGuinn 56 seconds apart. Murray buried a slap shot from the left point, and McGuinn wristed a shot from the left circle that got past goalie Craig Anderson.

NOTES: The four goals this season by San Jose defenseman Murray represents a career high. ... Colorado defenseman Adam Foote had an assist on Mueller's second-period goal for his 300th career point. ... Mueller has 19 points in 15 games with the Avalanche. ... The Sharks and Avalanche split the four-game season series.