Hannover failed to make up ground on the top six in the Bundesliga after being held to a 0-0 draw at home to Stuttgart.
Chances were rare between two sides who reached the knockout stages of the Europa League this season and are both keen to return next.
While Stuttgart's chances of qualifying look slim with a nine-point gap to close on sixth-place Eintracht Frankfurt, they do still have a DFB-Pokal semi-final with Freiburg to come in 10 days' time.
Hannover, on the other hand, need to start picking up points away from home after confirming once again their strength at the Niedersachsenstadion, where they have lost only once all season.
Nurnberg closed to within a point of eighth-place Mainz, practically assuring their place in the Bundesliga next season with a 2-1 home victory.
A second-half brace for Per Nilsson was enough to earn the Bavarians victory after Mainz missed a penalty in the first half, while Nicolai Muller scored the visitors' consolation on the hour mark.
The win also lifts Nurnberg into the chase for a place in Europe next season, even if their coach Michael Wiesinger did not want to hear anything of that prospect on the eve of the game.
However, his side's sixth home win of the season may convince Wiesinger to alter that outlook with six games of the season remaining.