Sports

Varlamov stops 47 shots, Avalanche clinch playoff berth with 3-2 win over San Jose.

  • San Jose Sharks left wing James Sheppard, left, pursues puck towasrd the boasrds with Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Sheppard was helped off the ice after being injured on the play. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    San Jose Sharks left wing James Sheppard, left, pursues puck towasrd the boasrds with Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Sheppard was helped off the ice after being injured on the play. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Jose Sharks left wing James Sheppard, right, is helped off the ice after being injured while pursuing the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    San Jose Sharks left wing James Sheppard, right, is helped off the ice after being injured while pursuing the puck with Colorado Avalanche left wing Jamie McGinn in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, front right, is congratulated after scoring a goal as teammates Marty Havlat, of the Czech Republic, front left, and Tommy Wingels follow past the team box while facing the Colorado Avalanche in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle, front right, is congratulated after scoring a goal as teammates Marty Havlat, of the Czech Republic, front left, and Tommy Wingels follow past the team box while facing the Colorado Avalanche in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

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.

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.