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DENVER – 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.