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Pacific Division Round Up: The West continues to be a close race to the playoffs

It’s Connor McDavid’s world and we’re just living in it.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Edmonton Oilers

Anaheim Ducks (26-19-10)

The Ducks headed to the Great White North this week. They started the road trip off in Ottawa, where they fell short in overtime. The bad luck continued as they moved along to Montreal on Saturday. They lost 5-2 to the Montreal Canadiens. That game was rough for the Ducks, matching some bad defense paired with some questionable goaltending.

The bad luck continued in Toronto on Monday. The Ducks came into the second period with a quick goal to tie it up. Corey Perry had a scary collision with Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen. Andersen was okay, returning to net Wednesday night for Toronto. By the third period, it was tied up, but Toronto would score three unanswered goals. The Leafs won 7-4 giving the Ducks a three-game losing streak.

The Ducks went on to play a back-to-back against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. Though the Ducks walked away with two points, it was another rough patch. Their defense continued to struggle. Ryan O’Reilly somehow scored an own goal (given to Corey Perry) in the third period to tie it up and send it to overtime. Adam Henrique netted the OT winner.

The Ducks look for a more positive finish on Friday against the Edmonton Oilers at 7:00 PST.

Arizona Coyotes (12-32-9)

Every week when I type this recap up, I secretly wish I could deliver some good news for our last place Desert Dogs. It has just been such a tough season for them. This week, they suffered three straight losses. The first one game from the Dallas Stars last Thursday. They fell 4-1 in the Lone Star State. Kevin Connauton came out hot, scoring within the opening four minutes for Arizon, but they couldn’t keep up the momentum.

On Saturday, they were blown out by the Los Angeles Kings, 6-0. As Sharks fans, it’s tough to watch the Kings score six unanswered goals on any team. It’s especially annoying when there was some pretty clear goaltender interference that went uncalled. Tanner Pearson hit Scott Wedgewood right in the mask on his goal. The one time we needed the Coyotes to deliver a miracle, they couldn’t. It’s hard not to feel sorry for them at this point.

Another tough match up for the Coyotes came on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. This game was a much better effort for the club. Although they lost 4-3, they only lost by one point this time! Goaltender Antti Raanta was between the pipes after missing two games following a car accident. Our long lost friend Jason Demers is currently nursing an injury as well, and it’s unsure when he will make his return. The Desert Dogs put up a hard fight, and it can only go up from here, right?

The Coyotes will take on the Minnesota Wild tonight at 5:00 PST.

Calgary Flames (27-18-8)

Calgary started off the week on a bad note. They lost 7-4 to the Tampa Bay Lightning, putting them on a six-game losing streak. They have struggled to hold onto a lead this season. This was the second consecutive game they lost after leading in the first two periods.

Saturday’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks shaped up better for the Flames. They pulled off a 4-3 overtime winner. That wasn’t the last they saw of the Blackhawks, though. On Tuesday night, they met up with them again and walked away with a 3-2 win. Johnny Gaudreau scored, tying his point total from last year, sitting at 61 points in 53 games this season. Mike Smith held up strong in net both nights against Chicago after a rough game in Winnipeg.

The Flames face the New Jersey Devils today at 4:00 PST.

Edmonton Oilers (23-25-4)

Here’s a hot take for you: Connor McDavid is really good at hockey. I know, you probably had no idea. On Thursday the Oilers took on the Colorado Avalanche and lost 4-3 in a shoot-out. McDavid had two goals but it wasn’t enough to get them the two points. Don’t worry though, the Edmonton Connor McDavids had a fun game coming up next.

It’s no secret the Oilers have been struggling this season. When they faced off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday, it seemed the result would be a bad one. Never count out Connor McDavid. The Oilers came out on top, winning 6-2. Connor McDavid had four goals and an assist.

Connor McDavid kept his point streak alive. He netted in a goal against the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. It wasn’t enough to keep the team alive, they ended up losing 5-2. It’s hard to be mad at a loss when the star of your team has seven goals in the last three games, right?

The Oilers play the Ducks on Friday at 7:00 PST.

Los Angeles Kings (29-19-5)

Last Thursday, the Nashville Predators shut out the Los Angeles Kings, 5-0. Jonathan Quick struggled, still recovering from injury perhaps? Regardless, things started to look up for the Kings. They finally bounced back from their four-game losing streak against the Arizona Coyotes with a 6-0 win. Back up goaltender Darcy Kuemper was in net and made 27 saves.

The Kings won another division game on Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers. Kuemper was between the pipes again, making 25 saves and getting his fourth straight win. Is the Quick injury more serious than we expected? Regardless, they’re getting some pretty good goaltending out of Kuemper. Alex Iafallo and Anze Kopitar had two empty netters to seal the deal for the Kings.

The Kings face the Florida Panthers tomorrow at 4:30 PST.

Vancouver Canucks (21-26-6)

The Canucks started out the week on a positive note. They pulled off a 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday. This was their second straight win, which was probably exciting for the struggling team. Maybe things were going up? Eh, not really.

Up next was a meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning. As you probably predicted, they lost. 4-2 to be exact. Brock Boeser looked great, netting one of the goals and having an assist on the other. On Tuesday, the Canucks hoped to get their momentum back. Well, they didn’t. They lost 3-1 to the Florida Panthers. Markus Granlund had the only goal for the Canucks.

It’s a rematch against the Tampa Bay Lighting next for the Vancouver Canucks today at 4:30 PST.

Vegas Golden Knights (35-14-4)

The Vegas Golden Knights actually lost this week! We’ll get to that later. They started off the week winning in OT against the Winnipeg Jets. They were leading up until the third when Winnipeg tied it up. David Perron scored the winning goal in overtime. They played again on Friday, this time they lost! The Minnesota Wild came up 5-2.

The Golden Knights played again on Sunday, this time against the Washington Capitals. It was a fairly matched game, each team netting pucks in the first and second periods. Nicklas Backstrom put the Caps ahead, but Reilly Smith and Alex Tuch scored unanswered goals to bring the Golden Knights to victory.

Marc-André Fleury made his emotional return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Penguins fans gave him a warm welcome back, but his old club did not. The Pens beat the Golden Knights 5-4. Fleury had 33 saves against his old team.

The Golden Knights will lose to the San Jose Sharks tonight at 7:30 PST.