The Vegas Golden Knights are collapsing, and the Vancouver Canucks are trying to take advantage.
At this point in the season, scoreboard watching around here is mostly about determining who the Edmonton Oilers are going to face in the first round of the playoffs. The L.A. Kings are still clinging to that third spot in the Pacific Division but the Canucks are pulling themselves into the mix.
New Jersey Devils defeat Vegas Golden Knights 3-2
Fans in Vegas are finally going through some adversity. Following their 4-0 loss to the Oilers on Saturday, the Golden Knights hosted the Devils in what was a must-win game and their offence went completely flat. Andrew “The Hamburglar” Hammond stopped 42 of 44 shots that the Golden Knights threw his way and the Devils wound up with a 3-2 win. That’s back-to-back losses for Vegas despite having all of Jack Eichel, Max Pacioretty, and Mark Stone in the lineup.
Vancouver Canucks defeat Dallas Stars 6-2
As the Golden Knights are imploding, the Canucks are taking advantage. They beat the Stars by a score of 6-2, extended their winning streak to six games, and are now only one point back of Vegas and four points back of the Kings in the standings. Vancouver has an uphill climb with a difficult schedule the rest of the way and a season-ending injury to captain Bo Horvat, but, at the very least, they’ve made things interesting.
There are a couple of games for Oilers fans to pay attention to on Tuesday night.
The L.A. Kings are in Anaheim to play the Ducks, the second of six consecutive games they have against teams not currently in a playoff spot to finish the season. The Kings are four points back of the Oilers with one more game played and they face Anaheim, Chicago, Anaheim again, Seattle, and Vancouver to finish things off.
The Canucks are right back in action as they host the Ottawa Senators. This is Vancouver’s game in hand on the Golden Knights, and, with a win, the Canucks would leap Vegas in the standings. It’s hard to imagine either of these teams catching the Oilers for second spot in the Pacific Division, but they’re firmly in the mix to be the team Edmonton hosts in the first round.