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Pacific Division Round Up: Quest for the post season

It’s a tough race here in the West, but the Vegas Knights are still in first.

Anahiem Ducks v Boston Bruins

Another week of hockey has come to a close. It just hit me that the season will be over before we know it. The good news is that the Sharks remain second place in the Pacific. Here’s how our rivals did this week.

Arizona Coyotes (15-32-10)

The Coyotes had an OK week by their standards this season. They started out on Thursday beating a pretty good Minnesota Wild team in overtime. Trailing the Wild 3-0, they managed to score three unanswered goals in regulation. Clayton Keller netted the OT winner. Their luck flatlined a bit this weekend against the Philadelphia Flyers. Though they managed to send another game into OT, they continued their trend of struggling to win in a shootout. It was another 4-3 score, but this time the Coyotes were on the losing end.

Things got better for the Desert Dogs. They managed to stick it to the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1. They handed a struggling Blackhawks team their sixth straight loss. The six-goal total was the highest they’ve had all season in a single game. Max Domi scored his first goal since December, and Antti Raanta had 37 saves. I think that victory gave them some confidence because they brought that luck into The Tank. The Desert Dogs beat the Sharks in a frustrating 2-1 game. I won’t make you relive the pain.

The Coyotes are improving, maybe? Word on the street is they’re looking to make some changes and are hearing out offers on Max Domi. That would be interesting for sure.

The Coyotes take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight at 6:00 PST.

Anaheim Ducks (27-20-11)

The Ducks started their week out with a rocky game against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. They were struggling on their long East Coast road trip. Despite blowing a lead late in the third, they pulled off a 4-3 victory in OT. This game put an end to their three-game losing streak. They returned home on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers. Things went better this time around. John Gibson was back between the pipes after recovering from a lower-body injury. He came out strong, making 30 saves. The Ducks won 3-2.

Up next for the Ducks were the Sharks. The game was pretty entertaining from start to finish, where Anaheim walked away with a single point. The 3-2 loss in overtime was good for the Sharks because their victory over Edmonton tied them up with San Jose in the standings. Another good moment for the Sharks game on Tuesday when the Ducks fell 2-1 to the Detroit Red Wings. Adam Henrique had the lone goal for the Ducks. Though the Ducks held them to few shots and dominated the first period, they couldn’t pull off a win.

The Ducks play the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at 5:30 PST.

Calgary Flames (29-20-8)

The Flames took on the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, beating them 3-2. The Flames are dominating on the road and made no exception in New Jersey. David Rittich saved 30 of 32 shots leading the Flames to victory. They played a back-to-back the next night in New York City against the Rangers. They lost 4-3 at Madison Square Garden. Sam Bennett was called for holding late in the third period during a tied game. Mika Zibanejad capitalized on the power play, winning to for the Rangers.

The Flames continued their road trip against the New York Islanders. This New York matchup was more favorable for them, winning 3-2 in regulation. They were trailing 2-1 in the third period until Matthew Tkachuk netted one in. Travis Hamonic tipped another one in, giving the Flames a 3-2 victory. They traveled up to Boston next to take on the Bruins. They lead 2-1 through the first period, but the Bruins tied it up by the end of the second. Patrice Bergeron netted two goals in 8 minutes, and it was over for Calgary. They fell 5-2 to a hot Boston Bruins team.

The Flame’s road trip continues in Nashville against the Predators at 5:00 PST.

Edmonton Oilers (23-28-4)

Man, it was a tough week for the Oilers. They lost all three games they played, sending them on a four-game losing streak. First up were the Anaheim Ducks. As I stated before, that game ended poorly for Edmonton. Their special teams were rocky, and both Drake Caggiula and Andrej Sekera took pucks to the face that prevented them from returning to the game. Though they put up a bit of a fight, they still fell 3-2. Next came the Sharks on Saturday. I’m sure this is a game you would all like to relive. The Sharks beat the Oilers 6-4.

Up next the Oilers took on the Florida Panthers.They beat the Oilers 7-5 in a surprisingly high scoring game. There were two penalty shot goals scored that night, an NHL first according to Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau. Leon Draisaitl scored the penalty goal for Edmonton. The game was a fun one, and ultimately Edmonton fell short.

The Oilers take on the Vegas Golden Knights tonight at 7:00 PST.

Los Angeles Kings (30-21-5)

Well, guys, I’m here to tell you the Kings are still out of a playoff spot. The Kings started out their week on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers. Things started out a bit rocky for the Kings. Jonathan Quick struggled a bit, letting in one goal. He eventually found his footing and paired with the Kings offense filling in the gaps, the game ended with a 3-1 Kings victory. Next game was against the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning is a challenging team to face, and the Kings fell 4-3. Darcy Kuemper was pulled from between the pipes and replaced by Quick, but it was too late. Dustin Brown made another controversial play, kneeing Mikhail Sergachev. This lead to a 5-minute power play for the Lightning and Nikita Kucherov capitalized on it, sealing the deal for Tampa.

Then came the Carolina Hurricanes. Man, was this game weird? The Kings lost 7-3. Trevor Lewis was placed on the IR, and Dustin Brown was serving his suspension, so the offense had some holes in it. Justin Faulk had a hat trick for Carolina, and Jonathan Quick was pulled but no relief was handed to the Kings. It was game over, and a second straight loss.

In another strange turn of events, the Kings traded Marian Gaborik and Nick Shore to the Ottawa Senators for Dion Phaneuf. It’ll be interesting to see how this turns out.

The Kings try their luck tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 4:00 PST.

Vancouver Canucks (22-29-6)

The Vancouver Canucks struggled this week. Maybe it was their challenging schedule, or the fact that they need a major rebuild in the near future. Regardless, it was a tough week for them. They kicked things off on Thursday with a 5-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brock Boeser scored his 26th goal, and Anders Nilsson blocked 31 shots, but it wasn’t enough. They played again on Friday, losing 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Down for the count? No way. The Vancouver Canucks somehow recovered from this and blew out the Dallas Stars 6-0 on Sunday. Unreal, right? From losing four in a row to blowing out a team and scoring six goals. Reid Boucher scored two goals, both of which were his firsts of the season. They ended the Stars’ five-game win streak. Things did not stay up for the Vancouver Canucks though. They lost 4-2 to the Florida Panthers yesterday.

The Canucks will take on the San Jose Sharks tonight for Hockey is for Everyone night at 7:30 PST.

Vegas Golden Knights (37-15-4)

Unfortunately, the Golden Knights started their week out by beating the San Jose Sharks 5-3 in another frustrating game for us Sharks fans. Again, I will not make you relive this, but is anyone else angry just thinking about it? I thought expansion teams were supposed to be bad! They played again on Sunday, losing 4-1 to the Philadelphia Flyers. I guess the town of Philadelphia gave them some luck after the Superbowl win by the Philadelphia Eagles. Brayden McNabb had the only goal for Vegas.

Then came the Chicago Blackhawks. With how these two teams are doing, you will not be surprised to hear it was a 5-2 Vegas win. Four the five goals they scored were in the third period. Our old friend Ryan Carpenter had a goal. Marc-Andre Fleury made 29 saves. Yes, the Golden Knights are still in first place. I do not understand.