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NHL Pacific Division Roundup: The Los Angeles Kings are struggling

We’re three weeks into the 2018-2019 NHL season and the Vancouver Canucks are in second place (well, technically tied with the Calgary Flames now) in the division, above the San Jose Sharks. Is the simulation glitching? Is this some strange fever dream? Or are the Vancouver Canucks back to strength? It’s hard to say, but I will happily admit I would much rather see our friends up North in second place than the Vegas Golden Knights. Here’s what happened around the division this weekend.

Anaheim Ducks (5-3-1)

The Anaheim Ducks played three games this week and the results were split. First came the New York Islanders, our new rivals. They too came out with a 4-1 victory over the Islanders. Ryan Kesler had two goals, the first scored on the power play. Adam Henrique and Hampus Lindstrom had third-period goals to secure the Ducks lead. The Ducks took flight to Vegas next and this one didn’t end in their favor. They fell 1-3 to Vegas. Ben Street had the lone Ducks goal. The Ducks did get their captain, Ryan Getzlaf back from injury this week as well.

The Buffalo Sabres rolled into town on Sunday. They beat the Ducks 4-2. Kiefer Sherwood and Sam Steel had the two Ducks goals, but the Sabres will return home having taken down both Southern California teams.

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

Arizona Coyotes (2-5-0)

The poor Arizona Coyotes are having another rough season. They’re currently sitting dead last in the Pacific. Good news is that they got one win this week. It wasn’t against the Minnesota Wild, though, who they faced off against on Tuesday. They lost that one 1-2. Brendan Perlini had the Arizona goal. Though their final game of the week was an ugly one for the Coyotes, the second game was a successful one. They put a 4-1 beating on the Chicago Blackhawks. Vinnie Hinostroza had two goals on two shots. Clayton Keller got his first goal of the season, as did Lawson Crouse. I would also like to report our old friend Jason Demers had an assist.

Then came the Winnipeg Jets. This one was an ugly one for the Desert Dogs. They fell 3-5 to the Jets. Clayton Keller had a night, though, scoring two goals. The third came from Christian Fischer. Arizona had more shots on goal and served fewer penalty minutes so at least there’s that, right?

Arizona will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday at 4 PT.

Calgary Flames (5-3-0)

The Calgary Flames played an interesting game against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday. They won this one 5-2. They had three goals in the first period, scored by Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau, and Juuso Valmaki. In the second, Frolik notched his second of the game, and the Bruins got two goals on the board. Matt Tkachuk secured the win with the lone third-period goal. Then the Nashville Predators rolled into town. They lost 5-3. Elias Lindholm, Sam Bennett, and Matthew Tkachuk got on the board.

Calgary then visited the New York Rangers. They had a strong opening two periods. Johnny Gaudreau had two in the first with Garnet Hathaway scoring one. Hathaway went on to score the fourth goal in the third period, securing the Calgary win.

The Flames will face the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday at 4:30 PT.

Edmonton Oilers (3-3-0)

The Edmonton Oilers got two overtime wins this week. The first game on Tuesday against the Winnipeg Jets. Connor McDavid had two goals and two assists. The third period saw the Oilers comeback, where Ty Rattie and Jesse Puljujarvi got on the board with McDavid’s second goal. With the game tied up, Edmonton won in overtime with a goal from Darnell Nurse. Another overtime win came against the Boston Bruins, who had a tough Canadian road trip. Kailer Yamamoto scored his first NHL goal. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored on the power play and Leon Draisaitl scored the overtime winner.

Their luck ended when they met Nashville. The Predators walked away with a 3-0 victory. Yamamoto had another strong game, landing the third star of the game. Cam Talbot made 25 saves on 27 shots, the third Nashville goal being an empty-netter.

The Oilers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday at 6 PT.

Los Angeles Kings (2-5-1)

The Los Angeles Kings are struggling, man. This week delivered the Kings three straight losses. The first came against the powerhouse Toronto Maple Leafs. Ilya Kovalchuk had the lone Kings goal. The Kings hosted the New York Islanders next, which was an ugly game for them. They lost 7-2. Jonathan Quick was pulled after allowing six goals scored. Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli had the two Kings goals, attempting to revive a dying team.

The Buffalo Sabres also gave the Kings a headache when they came to visit. The Kings lost this one 5-1. Drew Doughty had the lone Kings goal, his first of the season, while Quick had a .840 save percentage.

The Kings take on the Dallas Stars on Tuesday at 5:30 PT.

Vancouver Canucks (5-3-0)

Your second place Vancouver Canucks! They started the week off with a 3-2 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Ben Hutton and Brandon Sutter had two goals in the first period for Vancouver. Pittsburgh tied it up in the third, but Brock Boeser scored the overtime winner for the Canucks. They visited the Winnipeg Jets next where they lost 4-1. Bo Horvat had the only Vancouver goal. They had another overtime victory on Saturday, this one against the Boston Bruins. Brandon Sutter had the lone first-period goal. Boston came back to score in the second, sending the game to overtime. Bo Horvat scored in the third minute of overtime, giving the Canucks another overtime win.

Next up for Vancouver is the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Washington Capitals, Monday at 7 PT.

Vegas Golden Knights (4-4-0)

The Golden Knights got their groove back this week, winning both games they played. When the Buffalo Sabres came to visit, they made up for early season loss to them. They won this one 4-1. William Karlsson and Cody Eakin had a goal apiece, while Jonathan Marchessault had two. Vegas went on to win 3-1 over the Ducks on Saturday. Marchessault, Karlsson, and Ryan Reeves had the three Vegas goals, while Marc-Andre Fuery had a .944 save percentage. Don’t let this team get hot again!

The Golden Knights take on the future Stanley Cup champion Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday at 7 PT.

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