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Pacific Division Round Up: Kings upset Avalanche in Stadium Series

I’m just as surprised as you are.

Feb 15, 2020; Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; Los Angeles Kings players celebrate after an empty net goal against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period during a Stadium Series hockey game at U.S. Air Force Academy Falcon Stadium. Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings stunned us all by beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-1 in Saturday’s Stadium Series face off. The outdoor game featured a Tyler Toffoli, whose future with the club reached its end this week, hat trick — the first one ever scored in an outdoor game. Looks like the Kings are capable of doing good things this season after all.

Here’s a peek at the rest of the division this week:

Anaheim Ducks (23-27-7)

The Anaheim Ducks had a short week due to an unfortunate event at their game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday. St. Louis’ Jay Bouwmeester suffered a cardiac complication and collapsed on the bench. He seems to be recovering well, thankfully. The game was canceled and has been rescheduled for March 11 where the score will start 1-1.

The Ducks went on to play the Calgary Flames on Thursday and find themselves shut out 6-0. Yikes! They followed it up on Sunday with a 5-1 loss against the Canucks where Adam Henrique scored twice. John Gibson made 37 saves between the pipes. Once again, Calgary put up six goals against Anaheim on Monday, resulting in a 6-4 loss for the Ducks.

Ondrej Kase was injured this week. He is currently day-to-day, missing the last two games.

The Ducks will see the Florida Panthers on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT.

Arizona Coyotes (29-24-8)

The Arizona Coyotes have slipped down to fifth place in the standings. They played five games this week and won three of them. It started on Monday with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. They then headed to Toronto where they fell 3-2 in overtime to the Maple Leafs. Adin Hill made 38 saves, but his team failed to capitalize in extra time. Next came the Ottawa Senators who beat them 3-2. Do you see a trend here? They finished the week off with a 3-1 win over the Washington Capitals and a 2-1 win over the New York Islanders.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who has been on the injured reserve, skated with the team for the first time before the game against the Washington Capitals. His return seems to be approaching. Barrett Hayton missed the Capitals game with a shoulder injury.

The Coyotes will play the Florida Panthers on Wednesday at 7 p.m. PT.

Calgary Flames (30-24-6)

The Calgary Flames apparently played a game last Monday, but for some reason I can’t remember it. Anyway, they played again on Wednesday, where the Los Angeles Kings beat them 5-3. Elias Lindholm scored two of the three goals.

Their last three games of the week consisted of many, many goals. It started with a 6-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks. Mikael Bucklund and Mark Jankowski each had a pair of goals, while Cam Talbot made a perfect 44 saves for the shutout win. On Saturday, the Chicago Blackhawks beat them 8-4. Sam Bennett and Elias Lindhol scored two a piece, but Chicago were able to get eight goals past the Flames for the win. Then on Monday, the turned around to put up another six on Anaheim, for the 6-4 victory.

The Flames will see the Boston Bruins next, facing off on Friday at 6 p.m. PT.

Edmonton Oilers (32-21-6)

The Edmonton Oilers are still in first place. They kicked their week off with a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. Kailer Yamamoto scored two, while Mike Smith made 38 saves. They fell short in their next game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That one ended 3-1 with the lone goal scored by Caleb Jones. They came back strong against the Florida Panthers, beating them 4-1. Finally, they beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime. The winning goal came from Josh Archibald, his second of the match.

Connor McDavid has been sent to Injured Reserve after sustaining a quad injury. I’m not sure what his timeline looks like, but this is bad news for the Oilers.

The Oilers will see the Boston Bruins on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. PT.

Los Angeles Kings (21-33-5)

The Los Angeles Kings had a good week for the last place team, winning both games they played. First, they beat the Calgary Flames 5-3. Cal Petersen, the new backup goaltender after Jack Campbell was sent to Toronto, made 35 saves. Things got even better when they faced the Avalanche in an outdoor game. Tyler Toffoli’s three goals brought the team to victory. Jonathan Quick made 32 saves somehow.

Of course, the trade deadline spares no one — not even first-time outdoor game hat trick-scorers. The Kings prompted traded Toffoli to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Tim Schaller, center Tyler Madden and a 2020 second-round draft pick, as well as a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022 if Toffoli re-signs. Not a bad haul for the Kings. We hate it.

The Kings will see the Winnipeg Jets tonight at 5 p.m. PT.

Vancouver Canucks (32-21-5)

The Vancouver Canucks had a great first two games of the week. First, they beat the Nashville Predators 6-2. On Wednesday, they shutout the Chicago Blackhawks 3-0. Jacob Markstrom lead his team to victory with 49 saves. They saw the Anaheim Ducks next and that’s when things went downhill. They lost that game 5-1.

Brock Boeser missed Sunday’s game against the Ducks with an upper-body injury. It seems as though he is day-to-day. Tyler Motte also missed Sunday’s game but is back at practice wearing a no-contact jersey. His return is getting closer.

You can review the trade details above, but the news of the week is how Vancouver acquired Tyler Toffoli, reuniting him with former teammate Tanner Pearson.

Vancouver will face the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (30-22-8)

The third place Vegas Golden Knights. That’s gross, huh? They won three of their four games this week. It started the Minnesota Wild beating them in a 4-0 shutout. That’s nice, at least. They rebounded against the St. Louis Blues, beating the reigning Stanley Cup champs 6-5 in overtime. Max Pacioretty and Jonathan Marchessault each scored a pair of goals. On Saturday, they shut out the New York Islanders 1-0. The lone goal was scored by Reilly Smith, while Marc-Andre Fleury made a whole 19 saves. They wrapped up on Monday with a tidy 3-2 win over the slumping Washington Capitals.

Alex Tuch is week-to-week with a lower-body injury. Jonathan Marchessault was a game-time decision on Saturday after he suffered an undisclosed injury. He ended up playing against the Islanders.

Vegas comes back on Thursday to play the Tampa Bay Lightning at 7 p.m. PT.