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Pacific Division Round Up: Flames soar, while Sharks slump

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I think I’m supposed to tell you not to worry, but I am worried.

Mar 21, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Ottawa Senators during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 5-1.  Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Sharks are in the midst of a five-game slump. Meanwhile, the first place Calgary Flames continue to shine, effectively ending the Sharks’ bid for playing a Wild Card in round one. Anyone else’s blood pressure through the roof?

I would love to not recap how are enemies did this week to save you the pain, but I have to. Here goes nothin’:

Anaheim Ducks (31-36-10)

Sure, the Anaheim Ducks may have beat the Sharks in overtime this week, but at least they’re not going to the playoffs, right? Plus, they started their week off getting shut out by the Winnipeg Jets. In the 3-0 final, John Gibson allowed three goals on 23 shots. I refuse to recap their overtime victory over the Sharks.

Our two least favorite teams capped off their week playing each other. The Los Angeles Kings came out on top with a 4-3 shootout victory. Cam Fowler, Rickard Rakell and Carter Rowney got Anaheim on the board. Ryan Miller was in net and made 27 saves.

Anaheim take the Vancouver Canucks at 7 p.m. PT on Tuesday.

Arizona Coyotes (36-33-7)

The Arizona Coyotes had a rough week, playing four games and losing all of them. First, they fell 4-1 to the best team in the NHL, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The lone Coyotes goal came courtesy of Clayton Keller. Arizona hoped to bounce back when they faced the Florida Panthers, but lost 4-2. Brad Richardson and Michael Grabner got Arizona on the board, but couldn’t pull their team to victory.

They saw a glimmer of hope when they took on the New Jersey Devils, taking it all the way to a shootout, but New Jersey came out on top with a 2-1 win. Oliver Ekman-Larsson kept the Coyotes in the game with his lone goal. Then came the New York Islanders. That one ended in a 2-0 shutout in the Islanders’ favor. Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves between the pipes. This was the Coyotes fifth-straight loss (we can relate and are here for you, Desert Dogs fans) and they currently sit two points outside of a Wild Card spot.

Arizona will see the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT.

Calgary Flames (47-21-7)

The Calgary Flames won every game they played this week — because of course they did. They started their week with a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau, Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk all found the net for Calgary. David Rittich made 31 saves on the night. Then came the Ottawa Senators and of course they beat them 5-1. This team will not cool down. Garnet Hathaway, Mangiapane, Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano scored for the Flames, while old friend Dylan DeMelo had the only Ottawa goal that night. Good for him, I guess.

The Flames continued their reign of terror, beating the Vancouver Canucks, 3-1. Giordano, Hathaway and Mangiapane all scored again. I’m just as annoyed as you are.

James Neal returned to the lineup against the Canucks after missing 17 games while his team earned over 100 points on the season.

Do we root for the Kings when the take on the Flames today at 6 p.m. PT? Maybe we do ...

Edmonton Oilers (33-34-8)

The Edmonton Oilers went one-for-three this week. Tuesday’s loss to the St. Louis Blues was an ugly one. The 7-2 loss saw goals from Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but that was the only positive part for the Oilers. They rebounded against the Columbus Blue Jackets, winning 4-1. Connor McDavid, Kyle Bodizak, Zack Kassian and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all got on the board.

The Ottawa Senators found a 4-3 overtime win against the Oilers. Colby Cave, Alex Chiasson and Connor McDavid found the net, but couldn’t make it happen during 3-on-3. No former Sharks scored for Ottawa.

The Oilers see the Kings on Tuesday at 6 p.m. PT.

Los Angeles Kings (27-39-8)

The Kings won almost every game they played this week, save for a loss to the Winnipeg Jets — who have clinched a playoff spot, by the way. The 3-2 loss saw goals from Dustin Brown and Sean Walker. Jack Campbell was in net and made 25 saves. I again will not put you through the pain and suffering of remembering what happened when the Kings took on the Sharks. I will say, though, it was not good!

The Kings beat the Ducks in a shootout. The Freeway Series game ended 4-3. Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford and Carl Grundstrom scored in regulation, while Anze Kopitar sealed the deal in the shootout to give the Kings the win. Kyle Clifford scored on the power play for the first time in his career, which is wild to me. They have now won two games in a row, is that the most they’ve won consecutively this season? I am only half kidding.

The Kings will hopefully extend their win streak to three today against the Flames at 6 p.m. PT.

The only good thing the Kings did for us this week was have Ron Burgundy call the game against the Sharks. That is the highlight I have chosen to share with you this week.

Vancouver Canucks (32-34-10)

The Canucks had an interesting week. They kicked it off with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Alexander Elder, Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund scored for Vancouver, while Thatcher Demko made 29 saves on the night. They went on to absolutely dominate the Senators, winning 7-4. Horvat and Tanner Pearson had two goals each, while Loui Eriksson, Brock Boeser and Jake Virtanen also found the net. Again, no former Sharks got on the board for Ottawa.

The Flames then brought them back to earth with a 3-1 loss. The lone Vancouver goal was scored by Boeser. Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves between the pipes. Then came the Columbus Blue Jackets and the 5-0 shutout was ugly. Demko was in net and allowed all five goals.

The Canucks face the Ducks tomorrow at 7 p.m. PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (42-27-6)

The Vegas Golden Knights started their week off beating the Sharks by some number I don’t remember in a game I don’t think actually happened. Enough of that, let’s talk about how they shutout the Winnipeg Jets, 5-0. William Karlsson and Reilly Smith each had a pair of goals, the other came off Tomas Nosek’s stick. The Detroit Red Wings did us a little favor by forcing Vegas to overtime, where Vegas lost 3-2. Cody Eakin and Smith scored for Vegas, while Malcolm Subban made 27 saves.

The Golden Knights look to clinch a playoff spot tonight against St. Louis at 5 p.m. PT.