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Pacific Division Weekly: Vegas’ recovery

After that silly little trade deadline incident, the Golden Knights are pulling it together.

Mar 30, 2022; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Kraken right wing Jordan Eberle (7) passes the puck against Vegas Golden Knights center Chandler Stephenson (20) during the third period at Climate Pledge Arena. Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

After the Vegas Golden Knights struggled at the trade deadline, they needed to get their act together this week. They went into the deadline in the middle of a losing streak. While we Sharks fans loved that, I’m sad to report they got back in the win column this week.

Here’s what went down with Vegas and the rest of our Pacific Division rivals since the deadline closed.

Anaheim Ducks (27-23-12)

Since the trade deadline, the Ducks came to visit San Jose and I would love to remind you all that the good guys won 4-1. Then the team headed back to Anaheim to meet Joe Pavelski and his current team, the Dallas Stars, who beat the Ducks 3-2. In a way, it felt like an extension of the Shark's victory over our Orange County rivals.

The Stars stayed in town and yet again Pavs came out on top with a another 3-2 victory, this time in overtime. It’s a race to the bottom and the Ducks are tanking fast.

A bright spot for the future is goaltender Lukas Dostal, who has earned a few relief games this season. He’s expected to be the guy to take over the net from John Gibson in the future, but for now, he’s been re-assigned to the AHL San Diego Gulls on Monday.

Calgary Flames (40-18-9)

The Flames had a big week, kicking off with a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Friday. Their next game was impressive, even from a Sharks fan’s perspective, beating the Edmonton Oilers 9-5. Yes, like the capitalist workday. Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm had two goals each, while Christopher Tanev, Dillon Dube and Mikael Backlund had singles. Oh, and it was the second night of a back-to-back. Just an incredible effort all around.

The Flames saw the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday, and lost 2-1. The lone Calgary goal was scored by Tyler Toffoli, whose former team the Flames took on next. They lost to the Los Angeles Kings 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday.

They only played four road games in March, but April will flip the script, seeing the team hit the road for nine of their final 15 games.

Edmonton Oilers (38-25-5)

The Oilers started their week off with that 9-5 loss to the Flames. They bounced back when they came home to face the Arizona Coyotes on Monday, beating them 6-1. Goals were scored by Ryan McLeod, Leon Draisaitl, Warren Foegele, Zach Hyman and Connor McDavid.

The Oilers faced the Kings next and won that game 4-3 in a shootout. Mikko Koskinen made 38 saves between the pipes.

Shoring up their goaltending pipeline, Edmonton signed collegiate free agent Ryan Fanti to an entry-level contract this week. He’s coming off an NCHC tournament championship where he was named most outstanding player. The 22 year old will join the AHL’s Bakersfield Condors.

Los Angeles Kings (37-23-10)

I hate to break it to you all, but the Kings are still doing well. They beat the Seattle Kraken 4-2 on Saturday with goals from Anze Kopitar, Sean Durzi, Jordan Spence and Gabriel Vilardi. The Kraken got another go at it on Monday though, and beat LA in the next game 6-1. Sweet, sweet justice.

Heading to Alberta on Wednesday for a back-to-back, the Kings followed up with another loss, but this one came in a shootout against the Oilers, where they fell 4-3. They looked to turn their luck around against the Flames and finally came out on top in a shootout.

It’s that time of year, and the Kings signed three prospects to entry-level contracts this week; goaltender David Hrenak, forward Andre Lee and defender Kim Nousiainen have all joined the Ontario Reign.

Seattle Kraken (21-40-6)

The new kids on the block had another tough week. However, after losing 4-1 to the Kings, they decided to beat them in the two-game series in LA. The final score was 6-1, with goals from Jordan Eberle, Adam Larsson, Jared McCann, Victor Rask, Daniel Sprong and Alexander Wennberg.

Just when we thought we could count on the Kraken to defeat our rivals, they lost to the Golden Knights 3-0 at home on Wednesday. Can’t win them all, I guess.

The good news? the franchise’s first-ever draft pick, Matty Beniers, is heading to the Frozen Four with the University of Michigan. They’ll face the University of Denver in the semifinals on April 7.

Vancouver Canucks (32-28-9)

The Canucks kicked off their week with a big 4-1 victory over the Stars in Dallas on Saturday. Elias Pettersson scored twice, while J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat had singles. Thatcher Demko made 32 saves in the net to help his team.

Next, they played the St. Louis Blues in a home-and-home series, first starting on the road with a 4-1 loss on Monday, followed by a 4-3 loss at home on Wednesday.

The Canucks are just six points out of a Wild Card spot, so their season is still up in the air. There’s a tough road up ahead if the team is aiming to sneak into playoffs.

Vegas Golden Knights (37-28-4)

Unfortunately, Vegas went on a win streak this week. It started with a 5-4 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday. One of those goals was scored by Evgenii Dadonov, the man who got them into that weird non-trade situation with the Ducks. Good for him, I guess.

Then, they beat the Kraken 3-0 in Seattle on Wednesday. The Vegas goals were scored by Jonathan Marchessault, Michael Amadio and Shea Theodore, while Logan Thompson made 22 saves in his first career shutout.

Still, the wheels may be close to falling off. Vegas is only one point out from a Wild Card spot, so it’s possible the team misses the postseason for the first time in franchise history. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving team.