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Pacific Division Round Up: Vegas falls short, the Sharks take down the Kings

The Sharks also played two games against the Coyotes that felt like a whole week’s worth of games each.

NHL: JAN 16 Golden Knights at Predators Photo by Danny Murphy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Three weeks into the new year and we've got back to back Vegas losses, the Sharks sitting pretty in second place, and the Kings moving down in the standings. Everything feels good.

Anaheim Ducks (21-16-9)

The Anaheim Ducks came back from their bye week with a triumphant 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. Ondrej Kase netted two goals past Jonathan Quick, Ryan Kesler scored on the power play, and Corey Perry popped one into the open net to ensure a victory over our least favorite NHL team. Andrew Cogliano had a late hit to the head on Adrian Kempe. The Department of Player Safety handed him a two-game suspension, putting an end to his fourth-longest consecutive games played streak.

The Ducks fell short on Monday to the Colorado Avalanche, losing 3-1. The Avalanche are getting hot and certainly turned up the heat on Anaheim. Our old friend Matt Nieto scored one of the three goals against our other SoCal enemy. Colorado’s goalie Jonathan Bernier shut down Anaheim’s offense, stopping an impressive shot from Ryan Kesler. Chris Wagner had the sole goal for the Ducks.

Anaheim was down, but not out come Tuesday’s game against defending Stanley Cup champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins. They pulled off a 5-3 victory, putting an end to Pittsburgh’s 4-game win streak. Evgeni Malkin netted one for the Penguins in the first, while Rickard Rakell, Adam Henrique, Chris Wagner, and Ondrej Kase scored four unanswered goals in the second. Phil Kessel and Jake Guentzel each netted one for the Pens in the third, only to have Hampus Lindholm seal the deal with the fifth and final goal for the Ducks.

The Ducks claimed Tampa Bay Lightning forward J.T. Brown on waivers this week. He took the ice with his new team on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche.

The Ducks will take on the Kings again tomorrow at 7:00 PST.

Arizona Coyotes (10-28-8)

Alright, Sharks fans, I’m sure you’ve had enough of this Arizona team this week, but I have to include them in the recap so pretend to be surprised.

Before their two-game stint against the Sharks, the Coyotes took on division rivals, the Edmonton Oilers. Both teams have had a rocky season. The Coyotes came out swinging, netting two past Cam Talbot in the opening minutes of the first period. The Edmonton Connor McDavids wouldn't go down without a fight, tying up the game by the end of the first. The second period saw very little action, but the third brought two more goals from the Oilers, giving them a 4-2 victory over the Desert Dogs.

The rest of the week for the Coyotes was all about the teal. The Desert Dogs rolled into town on Warriors night, giving us a thrilling (but annoying) game. Whenever the Sharks would score, the Coyotes would too. They went into the second period with a 3-3 tie when Donskoi gave the men in teal the lead. Third period and the Desert Dogs bit back, tying it up and eventually getting the go-ahead goal. The Donfather tied it up again, and we went into an exciting overtime. The Sharks came out with the OT win thanks to Marc-Edouard Vlasic!

Night two, the Sharks were ready to drown these dogs again. Again, the Sharks started out strong with a 2-0 lead in the desert. Aaron Dell stood strong with 30 saves, but eventually, two goals for the Coyotes went past him. The game ended in a strong fought shootout, with Pavelski netting the winning and only goal of the shootout. Our old pal Jason Demers racked up 22:38 of ice time.

The Coyotes hope to put down the Nashville Predators tonight at 5:00 PST.

Calgary Flames (25-16-4)

Calgary absolutely destroyed the ever dominating Tampa Bay Lightning last week, coming in with a 5-1 victory. Goalie Matt Smith somehow held the hottest team in the NHL to only one goal. Offensively, the Flames saw goals from Micheal Ferland, Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski, and Matthew Tkachuk.

They continued their winning streak against the Florida Panthers. David Rittich was between the pipes for the Flames, making 41 saves. Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau, and Mikael Backlund lead the offensive strike for the Flames, giving them a 4-2 victory. The Flames haven’t lost yet in 2018, and the Sharks have to look out for them.

Jaromir Jagr was placed on waivers by the Flames last week. He is currently unclaimed and back on Calgary’s injury reserve. Things aren’t looking great for everyone’s favorite mullet man.

Edmonton Oilers (20-23-3)

The Oilers are currently on their much-needed bye week after the season they’re having. Leading up to the break though, they were looking good! They delivered two losses to Arizona Coyotes and the Vegas Golden Knights.

The game against Arizona started off rocky. They were trailing 2-0, with poor goaltending from Cam Talbot. He was replaced by Al Montoya who ended up holding off the Desert Dogs. The Oilers managed to turn the game around and picked up a 4-2 win. Prior to this, the team had struggled offensively. Darnell Nurse had two of the four, with Patrick Maroon and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scoring the others.

Next, they took on the Vegas Golden Knights. The first period was slow, with a goal by Maroon going into the second. Vegas bounced back with two unanswered goals, but Drake Caggiula netted one to tie it up in the third. Darnell Nurse came through with the game-winning goal in overtime.

Now Edmonton is on their break. Not without an injury first, though. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was placed on the IR after taking a blow during the Vegas game. As of now, it’s being ruled a bruised sternum and he is expected to return after the break.

Los Angeles Kings (24-15-5)

To quote the great Martin Jones, it feels good to beat these guys. This week the Kings were served a few losses and a drop in the standings. They came back from their break only to lose 4-2 to the Anaheim Ducks. Impressive goaltending by Jonathan Quick wasn’t enough to save the Kings. Nick Shore and Anze Kopitar managed to get in goals in the third, but it was too late. Corey Perry sealed the deal with the empty netter.

Next up for the Kings were the men in teal. The Sharks wrapped up their regular season matchup against the enemy with a 4-1 win. The Kings looked slow, and the game was less physical than their last meeting with L.A. Martin Jones had a big game against his former team with 35 saves. Trevor Lewis scored the lone goal for the Kings. Overall, the Sharks killed them off. Better luck next time, LA.

The Kings take on the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight at 7:00 PST.

Vancouver Canucks (18-21-6)

The Canucks went into their bye week pulling off two impressive wins. The team who has been fairly consistent with their struggle the last few years are starting to look... decent?

The Canucks put down the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-2, with two of their five goals coming from the power play unit. The Blue Jackets currently sit third in the Metropolitan division, so this game was quite the upset. Sven Baertschi, Erik Gudbranson, Brendan Gaunce, Alexander Edler, and Jake Virtanen all put points on the board for the Canucks.

The Canucks then held off the Minnesota Wild in an overtime win. Loui Eriksson got the first point for Vancouver, that was answered by Daniel Winnik of the Wild. Thomas Vanek tied it up, and Brandon Sutter finished it off in overtime. Jacob Markstrom walked away with 21 saves.

Good news for Vancouver, Bo Hovart is back on the ice after fracturing his foot back in December. Things are looking good for his return in the near future. The Canucks have struggled without him, it will be interesting to see how his return will affect the team.

Vegas Golden Knights (29-11-3)

The Golden Knights are legit, and we hate it. This week was fun for us, as the Golden Knights were served up two losses. We don’t even care that one of them came from the Edmonton Connor McDavids.

The Golden Knights returned from their break with a division matchup against the struggling Edmonton Oilers. Riley Smith and William Karlsson answered back to Patrick Maroon’s goal in the second, but let one in by Drake Caggiula who tied it up. Vegas fell short in overtime, losing the game 3-2.

Next up for the Golden Knights were P.K. Subban and the Nashville Predators. This gamed was interesting — no one scored in regulation. Juuse Saros of Nashville had an insane go in goal, making 43 saves against the Golden Knights. Their attempts on goal were not enough to save them, the Golden Knights fell in overtime to a goal made by Kevin Fiala.

In other news, the Golden Knights extended their contract with Deryk Engelland one more year, and the US Army is challenging their logo. Apparently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board have taken on the case. What a strange turn of events.

The Vegas Golden Knights have another had task tonight at 4:30 PST when they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning.