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Pacific Division Roundup: Golden Knights on the rise

The Vegas Golden Knights are on a three-game winning streak and are moving their way up the standings.

Dec 30, 2018; Glendale, AZ, USA; Vegas Golden Knights center Ryan Carpenter (40) celebrates with teammates after scoring a third period goal against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It was all fun and games at the beginning of the season when the Vegas Golden Knights sat just above the Los Angeles Kings in the bottom of the standings. Coming off the holiday break, however, the Golden Knights are on a three-game winning streak and quickly moving up the table, just surpassing the San Jose Sharks for second place. Here’s how this week’s few games shaped up.

Anaheim Ducks (19-15-6)

The Anaheim Ducks are another team who are starting to find their stride again. Starting the season on top, the Ducks have moved around a bit since, even sinking pretty low there for awhile. They only played two games this week and lost both of them, so that’s good. The first was a 4-2 loss to the Sharks. If you want a detailed report on that, we have you covered in our game recap. For now, I’ll just remind you Kiefer Sherwood and Jakob Silfverberg were the only two Ducks to get on the scoreboard.

They faced the Arizona Coyotes next and lost 5-4 in overtime. Ondrej Kase had two of the Anaheim goals. Adam Henrique and Daniel Sprong also found the net. Heading into overtime, the Ducks couldn’t find the net and lost to a division rival. John Gibson made a total of 25 saves between the pipes, attempting to keep his team in the game.

The Ducks see the Tampa Bay Lightning today at 5 PT.

Arizona Coyotes (17-20-2)

The Arizona Coyotes are back to where we are used to seeing them, sitting second-to-last in the division. The Desert Dogs had a tough week, starting out with a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings. Jakob Chychrun got them on the board, but ultimately they were beat out by the worst team in the division. They found their momentum again, winning 5-4 against the Ducks in overtime. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Nick Schmaltz, Jacob Chychrun, Nick Cousins and Christian Fischer all found the back of the net. Adin Hill made 37 saves between the pipes.

Things got ugly again when the Vegas Golden Knights rolled into town. They beat the Coyotes 5-1. Alex Galchenyuk scored the lone Arizona goal. Darcy Kemper was in net and stayed there despite allowing five goals on 37 shots. Better luck next week, Arizona.

Arizona faces the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday at 6:30 PT.

Calgary Flames (23-12-4)

The Calgary Flames are still sitting happily in first place in the Pacific. They also only played two games this week, starting off with a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Johnny Gaudreau netted a hat trick, while Mike Jankowski also found the net. David Rittich had 35 saves on the night.

They fell in overtime to the struggling Vancouver Canucks. The 3-2 loss saw goals from Mark Jankowski and Travis Hamonic, as well as 24 saves from David Rittich. In the end, the Canucks pulled off the upset.

Calgary plays the Sharks today at 6 PT.

Edmonton Oilers (18-17-4)

Before the Edmonton Oilers fell 7-4 to the Sharks, they lost 4-2 to the Vancouver Canucks. Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins found the net for the Oilers, but Vancouver had the advantage. As you all know, they then lost big time to the Sharks. Caleb Jones scored his first NHL goal, while Connor McDavid found the net twice against San Jose, but they couldn’t revive the team. Victory went to the Sharks.

Edmonton will face the Winnipeg Jets today at 6 PT.

Los Angeles Kings (15-21-3)

The Los Angeles Kings actually won a game this week, beating out the Coyotes 2-1. Dustin Brown and Jake Muzzin had the goals, while Jonathan Quick made 26 saves. All was right in the Kings’ world for the first time in a long time, I’m sure.

The winning stopped there. The Vegas Golden Knights came to Staples Center and beat them out 4-1. Anze Kopitar got LA on the board.

They’ll see the Colorado Avalanche today at 5 PT.

Vancouver Canucks (19-18-4)

The Vancouver Canucks had a good week. They won both games they played, which is impressive for the team that seemed as though they were starting to crack. First, a 4-2 victory over the Oilers. Elias Pettersson, Antoine Roussel, Brock Boeser and Tyler Motte sent pucks in the net, while our old friend Nikolay Goldobin got his stick on half of those plays, landing two assists. I’m glad they’re getting something out of him, I guess.

They beat out the first place Flames in a 3-2 shootout next. Brock Boeser, Alexander Elder and Elias Pettersson had the goals and Jacob Markstrom made 31 saves to bring the Canucks to victory.

They play the New Jersey Devils today at 10 AM PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (23-15-4)

The Vegas Golden Knights have moved up the table, as much as I hate to admit that to you all. They came back from the holiday break with a 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche. Paul Stastny and Brandon Pirri found the back of the net for Vegas. They went on to beat the LA Kings 4-1. Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch, William Carrier and William Karlsson put pucks in the net for Vegas. Malcolm Subban was in net and made 31 saves for a .968 save percentage.

The Golden Knights had yet another high scoring win, this time a 5-1 victory over the Coyotes. Brandon Pirri, Paul Stastny, Cody Eakin, Reilly Smith and our old pal Ryan Carpenter scored, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves. Here we go again with Vegas.

Vegas hosts the Kings on New Year's Day at 6 PT.