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Sharks victory clears logjam

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Evgeni Nabokov and Teemu Selanne carried the San Jose Sharks into the postseason. The Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings went along for the ride.

Nabokov turned back 28 shots for his sixth shutout of the season as the Sharks beat Phoenix 3-0 Thursday night and cleared up the muddled Western Conference playoff scramble.

San Jose eliminated the Coyotes from playoff contention and clinched playoff berths for the Canucks and Kings. All that needs to be determined is the playoff seeding order.

"It's nice that we got everything done, with (Nabokov) standing on his head and us playing a solid game in front of him," Sharks captain Owen Nolan said. "Hopefully, this little battle at the end of the season will make us a better team."

Vancouver beat Los Angeles 3-2 in overtime, but the focus of both teams was on the postseason.

"I don't think we could have predicted having both teams clinch tonight," Vancouver goalie Bob Essensa said after stopping 19 shots for his first win in seven starts.

Vancouver's overtime win gave both the Canucks and Kings 90 points — two more than Phoenix, which has fewer victories than both teams and just one game remaining.

"It didn't matter. We looked at the score and saw San Jose was winning," Kings forward Luc Robitaille said. "We've battled so much in the past month and a half that all that mattered to us was getting in the playoffs."

CAPITALS 3, PANTHERS 0: Olaf Kolzig made 28 saves for his fifth shutout of the season as host Washington snapped a three-game losing streak.

Steve Konowalchuk, Jeff Halpern and Dainius Zubrus scored for the Capitals, who had lost eight of 10 games.

BLUES 4, BLUE JACKETS 1: Scott Young scored twice to reach the 40-goal mark for the first time as host St. Louis snapped a five-game winless streak.

Pierre Turgeon and Keith Tkachuk each had a goal and an assist for the Blues.

RANGERS 4, LIGHTNING 3 (OT): Manny Malhotra scored with 1:37 left in overtime, giving New York a victory at Tampa.

Michal Grosek, Colin Forbes and Radek Dvorak also scored for the Rangers.

Martin St. Louis, Ben Clymer and Vincent Lecavalier scored for Tampa Bay.

CANADIENS 3, FLYERS 2 (OT): Saku Koivu scored with 7:59 left in the third period, and Brian Savage scored 3:49 into overtime for host Montreal.

Karl Dykhuis also scored for the Canadiens.

Michal Sykora and Ruslan Fedotenko scored for Philadelphia.

RED WINGS 4, THRASHERS 0:Martin Lapointe scored two goals and Nicklas Lidstrom had three assists as Detroit extended its home unbeaten streak to 18 games.

PREDATORS 4, FLAMES 0: Mike Dunham had 33 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and Cliff Ronning had a power-play goal and two assists.

David Legwand added a goal and an assist, Greg Johnson and Marian Cisar added goals and Scott Walker had two assists for the Predators.