With less than ten games left in the regular season, no teams in the Pacific Division have clinched a playoff berth. The division has been close all year, meaning we now get to watch some very meaningful hockey as the campaign finishes up. Tuesday night will feature two of these matchups. Here’s what’s going down.
Oilers at Golden Knights
Sitting at the top of the West, Vegas has an opportunity tonight to be the first team in the conference to punch their ticket to the postseason. However, not only will they need to beat the Oilers, but they’ll also need the Sharks to upset the Winnipeg Jets. Even if they do clinch, the work will not be finished for the Golden Knights, as the Los Angeles Kings sit just two points behind them in the standings.
As for the Oilers, winning is almost the only option at this point if the team wants to overtake Los Angeles and grab home ice advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Right now, Edmonton is three points behind Los Angeles and five behind Vegas with one more game played and eight to go. As always, they’ll be looking for their best players to come up big tonight to hopefully steal two points on the road.
This game should be a great one. The Oilers are actually slight favorites despite being on the road against a team with a better record, but the only thing you can say about the game with certainty is that it’ll be a tough, entertaining affair between two Pacific Division rivals. Just three nights ago, the teams needed overtime to find a winner. It would not be surprising if this one went the distance as well.
Kings at Flames
In Calgary tonight, the Flames will host the red-hot Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are 15-2-3 since the All-Star Break and, as mentioned above, in tight pursuit of Vegas for the top seed in the Pacific Division. Kevin Fiala has proven to be an awesome addition for the team this year and leads the Kings in scoring, while veteran leaders Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar are still performing at extremely high levels.
The Flames, on the other hand, have not had the year they expected and are now desperate for wins. With 8 games left in their season, Calgary is four points behind Winnipeg for the last playoff spot in the conference. The Flames have struggled with consistency all year from the net out and have not gotten the scoring from their top end players that they had last year. In fact, Tyler Toffoli leads the team in points with just 67 in 74 games.
With the Flames desperately looking for a win and the Kings on a tear, this should be another great Pacific Division matchup. It’ll also be the last time these teams see each other in the season. In the first three meetings, Calgary went 1-1-1, but won the only other game in Alberta.
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