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Sharks take lead in Pacific with win over Avs

Joe Pavelski scored twice and Antti Niemi made 31 saves as the San Jose Sharks jumped into first place in the Pacific Division with a 5-1 thumping of Colorado.

The win gives San Jose 88 points in the hotly contested division as the team now holds a one-point lead over both Dallas and Phoenix, which sit in seventh and eighth, respectively in the Western Conference.

Torrey Mitchell, Ryane Clowe and Andrew Desjardins all scored for the Sharks, who have won their past three games.

Shane O'Brien had the lone goal and Semyon Varlamov was touched for four goals on 35 shots for the Avalanche, who have dropped their past three games.

With the loss, Colorado dropped to 10th in the Western Conference standings as the team has 86 points.