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Pacific Division Round Up: Golden Knights back in first place

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NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

It seems like everyone (but the California teams, I guess) in the division has spent some time in first place this season. The Pacific Division is a rollercoaster none of us were buckled in for this season. The Vegas Golden Knights are the current top team, but they were upset by the bottom team this week. Yes, the Los Angeles Kings beat the first place Golden Knights. This sounds like a nightmare for Sharks’ fans everywhere.

Anaheim Ducks (26-31-8)

Good news, the Sharks are still above the Anaheim Ducks in the standings. Like the Sharks, the Ducks looked pretty good this week. They kicked it all off with a 4-3 victory in overtime over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday. New acquisition Sonny Milano found the net twice. Another win came Friday against the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins. Patrick Marleau’s new crew fell 3-2 to his old rivals. New addition to the team, Danton Henin, netted his first goal. Finally, they ended their week on a sore spot. The New Jersey Devils shut them out 3-0 on Sunday. John Gibson fought hard, making 31 saves, but his team failed to generate anything up front.

Hampus Lindholm is day-to-day. He did not play on Sunday against the Devils. No word on his status. Cam Fowler will be out for at least two more weeks with a lower-body injury.

The Ducks face the Blackhawks on Tuesday at 5:30 PT.

Arizona Coyotes (32-27-8)

The Arizona Coyotes had a short week, playing only two games. They lost the first one to the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Tuesday. However, they came back strong on Saturday. They beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-2. Clayton Keller scored twice. Even our old friend Jason Demers got a point. If you recall, he was injured for a bit. This game was his return and he had an assist. Good for you, Daddy.

The Coyotes see the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday at 7:30 PT.

Calgary Flames (34-26-7)

The Calgary Flames have made their way to third place in the division. They started their week off with a big win over the Boston Bruins, beating them 5-2 on Tuesday. Mikael Buckland and Sean Monahan each had a pair of goals. They hit a two game slump afterwards. They at least got a point out of their Thursday meeting with the Nashville Predators, falling short 4-3 in OT. Then, Barclay Goodrow and the Tampa Bay Lightning topped them 4-3 on Saturday. They ended their week well, however, shutting out the Panthers 3-0 on Sunday. Cam Talbot made 38 saves between the pipes.

The Flames take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday at 5:30 PT.

Edmonton Oilers (34-23-8)

The Oilers had an unfortunate start to their week. It started on Tuesday when the Anaheim Ducks beat them 3-4 in OT. Following that loss, they were shutout 3-0 by the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday. They got their groove back come Saturday. They found a 3-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Leon Draisaitl had two of the three goals that night.

The Oilers have a lot going on injury wise. Andreas Athanasiou was out with a lower-body injury, but returned to the lineup this week. Mike Green will be out 3-4 weeks with a sprained MCL. Kris Russell was a game-time decision after suffering a concussion. He is back in the lineup. Kailer Yamamoto missed Saturday’s game with an ankle injury. Finally, James Neal is apparently close to returning after suffering an ankle injury. It seems as though he’ll be joining the team on their upcoming road trip.

The Oilers play the Nashville Predators today at 5 PT.

Los Angeles Kings (25-35-6)

The Kings had a good week, believe it or not. They, too, beat the struggling Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Wednesday. Cal Petersen made an impressive 35 saves in net. They went on to beat the New Jersey Devils in overtime on Saturday. The 2-1 final saw goals from Dustin Brown and Adrian Kempe, while Jonathan Quick returned to goal, making 32 saves. Finally, they took down the first place Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 on Sunday. Anze Kopitar found the net twice. Petersen was back in net and made an even more impressive 42 saves on Peter DeBoer’s Golden Knights.

Who do you root for when your two least favorite teams play each other?

Jeff Carter missed this weekend’s games with a lower-body injury. No further updates on his status have been given.

The Kings face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday at 7:30 PT.

Vancouver Canucks (34-25-6)

The Vancouver Canucks hit Eastern Canada this week. They started the road trip off against the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday. They won 4-3 in overtime. This would be their only win of the trip. Next, the Ottawa Senators beat them 5-2 on Thursday. This was the game the Senators’ Bobby Ryan scored his hat trick. Even more impressive? Chris Tierney had three assists. Their last Canadian matchup was against the Leafs on Saturday and they lost that one 4-2. They made their way down to Ohio and lost there too. On Sunday, they fell 5-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Jacob Markstrom suffered a lower-body injury. He underwent a procedure and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.

The Canucks host the Coyotes on Wednesday at 7:30 PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (36-23-8)

The Vegas Golden Knights started their week off strong and then ended it in an embarrassing way. First, they shutout the Oilers 3-0 on Wednesday. They found another victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. That one ended 4-2 with a pair of goals scored by Reilly Smith. Robin Lehner made his debut for the Golden Knights and made 32 saves. Finally, they lost 4-1 to the division’s last place team, the Kings. Marc-Andre Fleury had an off night, making 13 saves. The lone goal was scored by Shea Theodore.

Mark Stone and Cody Glass are both day-to-day. They did not play on Sunday against the Kings.

The Golden Knights host the Devils Tuesday at 7 PT.