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Photo Credit: Sep 18, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goalie Mike Smith (41) guards his net during the warmup period against the Edmonton Oilers at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Around The Pacific: Sharks begin to roll without Joe Thornton, Flames snap losing skid

The Golden Knights are running away with the division while the Flames, Kings, Sharks and Ducks battle for what appears to be two spots in the playoffs.

1st: Vegas Golden Knights

35-13-4 (74 points) / +37 goal differential 

The Golden Knights are still rolling along. The league’s best-ever expansion team won three of four games last week, beating Calgary, Winnipeg, and rallying multiple times against Washington, but getting dropped by Minnesota. Vegas will be an interesting team to follow in February. They seemed like the perfect trade deadline sellers, with James Neal and David Perron set to hit free agency this summer, but obviously at this point the team will be looking to add rather than subtract.

2nd: San Jose Sharks

28-16-8 (64 points) / +10 goal differential 

The Sharks began a four-game road trip last week with losses in Pittsburgh and Detroit, but snapped back with wins in Columbus and Carolina. They’re living life without Joe Thornton, who could miss the rest of the regular season after having knee surgery. In his absence, Logan Couture has stepped up with five points in the team’s last four games.

3rd: Los Angeles Kings

28-19-5 (61 points) / +22 goal differential 

The Kings had an up-and-down week, beating Dallas 3-0, losing to Nashville 5-0, then beating Arizona 6-0. They have four wins in their last six games, which matches the amount of wins they had in their previous 15 games before that. Also, while Jeff Carter has been skating, he hasn’t yet returned to practice with the team, so his return isn’t imminent. Carter has been out since mid-October with a leg injury.

4th: Calgary Flames

26-18-8 (60 points) / -2 goal differential 

The Flames went lost 4-2 to Vegas after a frustrating last-second rally by the Golden Knights then got pumped 7-4 by the Lightning, but they did manage to end their six-game losing skid with a win at home over Chicago. That said, they’re about to jump on a six-game road trip in which they’ll face difficult teams like Boston and Nashville.

5th: Anaheim Ducks

25-18-10 (60 points) / -2 goal differential 

The Ducks managed to capitalize on Calgary’s cold streak as they’re now tied with the Flames for fourth in the Pacific, though the Flames have a game in hand. The Ducks beat Boston in regulation last week, which is something nobody has been able to do in months, then they lost in overtime to Ottawa and lost in regulation to Montreal. They’ll finish their eastern swing this week with games in Toronto and Buffalo before coming home to play a couple of important games against Edmonton and San Jose.

6th: Edmonton Oilers

22-24-4 (48 points) / -23 goal differential 

The Oilers have had a very bizarre schedule, as they’ve played just four games in the past three weeks. They had their bye week, played three games, then had the All-Star break, and played once the week after that. They lost the one game they played last week in overtime to Colorado, and now they’ll go and play five games in the next eight days. Very, very odd scheduling.

7th: Vancouver Canucks

21-25-6 (48 points) / -31 goal differential 

The Canucks won against Colorado and Chicago, but predictably lost to Tampa Bay last week. They’ll now head on a road trip through the southern United States.

8th: Arizona Coyotes

12-31-9 (33 points) / -63 goal differential 

The Coyotes are very bad. They lost 4-1 to Dallas and 6-0 to Los Angeles last week. Their .317 points percentage is the worst in franchise history since the Winnipeg Jets went 9-57-14 in 1980-81.