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Pacific Division Round Up: Calgary Flames are playoff bound

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We all knew it was coming, but now it’s official. But who exactly will finish in first place?

Mar 16, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith (41) makes a save against Winnipeg Jets defenseman Ben Chiarot (not shown) during the third period at Bell MTS Place. Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

I think we should call this segment “Calgary Flames Watch” from this point forward. All eyes are on the top of the Pacific Division as playoffs inch closer and closer. The Flames officially clinched a playoff spot this weekend and still hold first place in the division, but the Sharks are only a point behind. Who will finish in the top spot? I guess we have to wait and see.

Anaheim Ducks (30-35-9)

The Anaheim Ducks were somehow able to win three of the four games they played this week. First was a 3-2 victory over the Nashville Predators. Ryan Getzlaf got himself back on the scoreboard this week, while the other two goals came from Jakob Silfverberg and Daniel Sprong. On Thursday, the Arizona Coyotes gave me a great birthday gift, a 6-1 win over the Ducks. The lone Anaheim goal was scored by Silfverberg. Ryan Miller was in net for all six goals.

The Ducks bounced back against the Colorado Avalanche. The 5-3 victory saw goals from Ryan Getzlaf, Daniel Sprong, Hampus Lindholm and two from Corey Perry. Anaheim then went on to do what the Sharks couldn’t, defeating the Florida Panthers. That game ended 3-2, with goals from Adam Henrique, Devin Shore and Jakob Silfverberg.

The Ducks have hinted that Ryan Kesler is done for the season. The veteran and staple part of the Ducks’ lineup has suffered chronic hip pain that has left him with only eight points this season. Could this be the final run for Kesler?

The Ducks play the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT.

Arizona Coyotes (36-30-6)

The Arizona Coyotes are doing really well right now. Sure, they lost two games this week, but remember the team they once were? So maybe the Chicago Blackhawks beat them 7-1 with the only Arizona goal coming off the stick of Richard Panik, so what? They came back the next day to beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1. Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Vinnie Hinostroza and Richard Panik all scored for Arizona.

Then, the Coyotes beat the Ducks 6-1. What a beautiful game! Vinnie Hinostroza netted a hat trick, while our boy Jason Demers finally scored a goal after returning from a long term injury! The other goals were scored by Oliver Ekman-Larrson and Mario Kempe, but this game belonged to Jason Demers. They went on to play the Edmonton Oilers and that game went to overtime. Edmonton took home a 3-2 win, with the two Arizona goals scored by Alex Galchenyuk.

The Coyotes face the best in the East, the Tampa Bay Lightning, today at 4:30 p.m. PT.

Calgary Flames (44-21-7)

The Flames are still in first place and have officially clinched a playoff spot, unfortunately, and they had a huge game against the New Jersey Devils, winning 9-4. Yes, they scored nine goals as we approach playoffs. Anyone else kinda nervous? Johnny Gaudreau had a hat trick and Derek Ryan had a pair of goals. This game was a tough one to watch as a Sharks fan. They went on to beat the New York Rangers 5-1. Can this team calm down? Matthew Tkachuk had two goals, the rest were scored by Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau and Garnet Hathaway.

The Winnipeg Jets helped the Sharks out, beating Calgary 2-1. Mark Jankowski got the Flames on the board, while Mike Smith made 19 saves in net. The Flames are officially playoff bound all because the Minnesota Wild lost in overtime to the New York Islanders. Thanks for nothing, Wild!

The Flames face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.

Edmonton Oilers ( 32-32-7)

The Edmonton Oilers kicked their week off with a 3-2 overtime victory over the New York Rangers, with goals from Leon Draisaitl, Connor McDavid and Matt Benning. The New Jersey Devils found a win over a Western Canada team, beating the Oilers 6-3. The Edmonton goals were scored by Matt Benning, Alex Chiasson and Sam Gagner.

The Oilers then pulled off another overtime win, this time over the Coyotes. Connor McDavid netted a pair of goals, while Matt Benning continued his scoring streak. They faced the Vegas Golden Knights next. By the third period, the Oilers were down 2-4. Draisaitl and Ryan-Nugent Hopkins found the net for Edmonton. Kris Russell also got on the board for Edmonton. The game ended 6-3, the Oilers didn’t stand a chance.

The Oilers see the Blues tomorrow at 5 p.m. PT.

Los Angeles Kings (25-38-8)

One thing I can happily tell you this week is the Los Angeles Kings will not be heading to the playoffs. Well, technically they still could make it, but it’s pretty complicated. The good news is with how they’ve been playing, it’s likely they’ll be eliminated officially sooner rather than later. They only took the ice twice this week and lost both games. First was a 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators. Austin Wagner had the lone LA goal. Jonathan Quick made 31 saves between the pipes.

Next came the Florida Panthers. They lost that one 4-3. Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Brendan Leipsic scored for LA. Jonathan Quick was back in net and again made 31 saves.

The Kings play the Jets today at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Vancouver Canucks (30-32-10)

The Vancouver Canucks had a good week, winning all but one of the games they played. The first was a big 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers. Tyler Motte found the net twice for the Canucks, while Brock Boeser and Jake Vitranen each notched one goal. The Devils rolled into town and pulled off a 3-2 shootout win. Tanner Pearson and Elias Pettersson kept their team in the game, but ultimately fell short.

The Canucks then won 3-2 in a shootout against the Dallas Stars. Tim Schaller had the two regulation goals, while Josh Leivo finished it during the shootout. Jacob Markstrom made an impressive 44 saves on the night.

The Canucks face the Chicago Blackhawks today at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (39-27-5)

Though the Vegas Golden Knights only hit the ice twice this week, they had a successful week. First, they beat the Dallas Stars 2-1. Max Pacioretty and Ryan Reaves scored, while Marc-Andre Fleury made 40 saves between the pipes.

Then they took on the Edmonton Oilers. The 6-3 victory saw goals from old friend Ryan Carpenter, Cody Eakin, Mark Stone, Brayden McNabb and two from Jonathan Marchessault.

The Golden Knights play the Sharks today at 7:30 p.m. PT.