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Ducks topple Sharks, widen division lead

ANAHEIM, California -- Anaheim avenged last weekend's loss to San Jose by beating the Sharks 6-3 on Tuesday, making it 11 wins from 12 games and opening a seven-point lead in the NHL Pacific Division.

San Jose would have fallen into a tie for second in the division but Los Angeles failed to make ground after losing to Dallas, while St. Louis hung on to edge fading Minnesota and close on the Central Division lead, and New Jersey beat Eastern Conference leader Pittsburgh.

Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf scored his 20th goal of the season and added two assists, while Francois Beauchemin got his first goal of the campaign.

Nick Bonino and Matt Beleskey each had a goal and an assist while Andrew Cogliano and Kyle Palmieri also netted for the Ducks, who have not lost in regulation in 17 home games this season.

Dan Boyle and Bracken Kearns scored power-play goals, and Logan Couture scored for the Sharks, whose four-game winning streak ended.

St. Louis' Jaden Schwartz scored for the sixth straight game to help the Blues beat Minnesota 2-1 and close within four points of Central leader Chicago.

T.J. Oshie also had a goal for St. Louis, which is 5-0-2 in its past seven road games.

Ryan Suter scored in the closing seconds for the Wild, who have lost a franchise-record six straight games in regulation and have just 11 points from their past 18.

New Jersey's Adam Henrique scored inside two minutes to set up the Devils' 2-1 win over Pittsburgh.

Michael Ryder connected early in the second period for the Devils, who overcame the loss of veteran forward Patrick Elias in the first period after being knocked to the ice.

Matt Niskanen cut it to 2-1 for Pittsburgh at 6:58 of the second off a pass from Sidney Crosby.

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Philadelphia Flyers' Matt Read, left, swats at a loose puck as Calgary Flames goalie Reto Berra, from Switzerland, looks on during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alberta on Tuesday, Dec. 31. (AP)



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