The San Jose Sharks finished off the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday evening, giving them their fifth straight loss while preventing themselves from losing eight straight. That’s a lot of losses between two teams who will see each other in round one of the playoffs. Anyone else nervous?
Here’s what’s happening in across the rest of the division:
Anaheim Ducks (33-37-10)
Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the Anaheim Ducks are wrapping up their season with a few high-scoring wins, for some reason. On Tuesday, they took down the Vancouver Canucks, coming out on top 5-4 in regulation. Sam Steel netted himself a hat trick, while Kiefer Sherwood and Rickard Rakell each found the net. They then crashed and burned against the Calgary Flames, losing 6-1, with the lone Anaheim goal from Andy Welinski.
They came back out on top against the Edmonton Oilers for a big 5-1 victory. Rakell netted a hat trick and two more goals came from Corey Perry and Devin Shore. John Gibson made 30 saves on the night.
The Ducks play two more games this season, starting with Calgary on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Arizona Coyotes (38-33-8)
The Arizona Coyotes are in the playoff race. They beat the Chicago Blackhawks 1-0, thanks to a goal scored by Nick Cousins. They fell short to the Colorado Avalanche, a team who is also in the wild card race in the West. That one ended 3-2 in a shootout, so they earned a point for their troubles. Both goals were scored by Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
They pulled off a big wild card win against the Minnesota Wild. The 4-0 victory saw two goals from Josh Archibald and one each from Alex Galchenyuk and Vinnie Hinostroza. Darcy Kuemper held strong, making 39 saves for a shutout. The Wild and Avalanche are the two teams Arizona are currently fighting for a playoff spot. I’m going to let you all know I am rooting for them.
The Coyotes face the last place Los Angeles Kings to fight for their spot in the playoffs on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Calgary Flames (49-23-7)
The Los Angeles Kings were our friends this week when they shutout the Calgary Flames 3-0. Isn’t that wonderful? Then, the Dallas Stars handed them a lovely 2-1 defeat. So what if the Sharks were struggling? Thankfully, the first place team started to lag too. The lone Calgary goal was scored by T.J. Brodie.
Calgary didn’t go down easily, though. They beat the Ducks 6-1. Sean Monahan had two goals, the others were scored by Derek Ryan, Mark Giordano, Garnet Hathaway and James Neal. Then came the Sharks. I won’t upset you with the details, but it didn’t really go too well.
The Flames face the Kings today at 7 p.m. Drew Doughty has no respect for Matthew Tkachuk, so that one should be fun.
Edmonton Oilers (34-35-9)
The Edmonton Oilers had a field day with the Los Angeles Kings this week, beating them 8-4. Lots of goals this week around the division, eh? Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both scored a hat trick. Connor McDavid and Zach Kassian had the other two goals. The Dallas Stars then beat them in a shootout. The 3-2 loss saw goals from Draisaitl and McDavid, while Mikko Koskinen made 20 saves between the pipes.
The Anaheim Ducks took the Oilers down 5-1 to finish off their week. Sam Gagner had the lone goal, while Koskinen allowed four goals before being replaced by Anthony Stolarz, who allowed one goal. Pretty safe to say the Oilers will be missing the playoffs this year.
The Oilers face the Golden Knights today at 7 p.m.
Los Angeles Kings (29-40-9)
The Kings are trying to end their season with some sort of dignity, but it’s not really working. Things started off well this week when they beat Calgary 3-0, thanks to Jonny Brodzinski, Derek Forbort and Tyler Toffoli. Jack Campbell dominated between the pipes, making 42 saves on the night. Things went from great to terrible when Edmonton beat them 8-4. Dustin Brown, Drew Doughty, Carl Gundstrom and Alex Iafallo got on the board, but couldn’t outscore the Oilers.
The Vancouver Canucks took them down 3-2 in the shootout next. Adrian Kempe and Austin Wagner scored for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick made 36 saves. The Kings then beat the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime. Michael Amadio, Drew Doughty and Austin Wagner put the Kings on the board.
Here’s some fun Kings drama for you: free agent acquisition Ilya Kovalchuk refused to travel with the team, as he hasn’t see much ice time lately. I’m unsure how the Kings will handle this, but Kovalchuk is a handful and I am glad he is not our problem.
The Kings need to beat the Flames for us today at 7 p.m.
Vancouver Canucks (34-35-10)
The Vancouver Canucks started their week off with a 5-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Josh Leivo, Alexander Elder, Tanner Pearson and Jake Virtanen all found the back of the net for Vancouver. They beat the Kings 3-2 in a shootout next, with regulation goals scored by Brock Boeser and Alexander Elder and the shootout winner from Tanner Pearson.
Another win came in the form of a shootout for the Canucks. This one was against the Dallas Stars and also ended 3-2. Sven Baertschi and Tim Schaller scored in regulation, while Markus Granlund had the shootout winner.
The Sharks are next for the Canucks Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Vegas Golden Knights (42-30-7)
A rough week for the Vegas Golden Knights is a good one for Sharks fans. First, the St. Louis Blues beat them 3-1, with the lone Vegas goal scored by William Karlsson. Vegas kept losing, next to the Avalanche. Paul Stastny, Alex Tuch and Reilly Smith found the net, but couldn’t hold up against a playoff hungry Colorado group.
The Minnesota Wild beat them 3-2, giving them their fourth straight loss. Stastny had both goals, while Malcolm Subban made 29 saves between the pipes. The Sharks handed them their fifth straight loss on a golden platter. I’m still celebrating that one, even if Ryan Reaves and Joe Thornton both got fined. The Vegas Golden Knights are officially playoff bound and probably the Sharks’ first round matchup. It’ll be a fun and terrifying one, I think.
Vegas see the Oilers today at 7 p.m.