The Oilers needed to beat Vancouver while the Ducks lost in regulation to win their first division title since 1987. If the Ducks win in any manner or earn a point against the Kings, they clinch the Pacific Division and the Sharks will face the Oilers in the first round. But as Anaheim learned past year in a first-round upset loss to the Nashville Predators, division titles mean nothing once you get to the postseason.
I said it when we were in Chicago my first year we nearly had that naive confidence, because none of us had really played in the playoffs. Since then, Anaheim has made a number of changes to its lineup in an effort to get back there and beyond.
Dustin Brown scored a tiebreaking goal with 12:05 left for the Kings, who missed the playoffs for the second time in three years. No more goals were scored in the period by either team.
One of the most intriguing first round series is the one between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames.
The Ducks were 29-8-4 at home this season.
The Flames will have to exorcise their Honda Center demons in order to move on to the second round of the playoffs.
Injury fallout: The main injury for the Ducks now, as noted at the top, is to Fowler.
Cleveland Browns reportedly torn between Myles Garrett and Mitchell Trubisky
However, it goes without saying that the possibility of the Bears landing Garrett is undoubtedly welcome among all Bears fans. And that tweet was nearly a month after Garrett suffered a nagging leg injury that hampered him the rest of the season.
Murray said Giordano went for Cam Fowler's knee when he collided with the Ducks' defenceman in a 3-1 Anaheim home win last Tuesday. But it just so happens that the Ducks have the deepest blue-line corps in the National Hockey League. What was happening the last time they won in Anaheim?
Goalie advantage: It was a tale of two seasons in one for Brian Elliott, Calgary's offseason acquisition from the St. Louis Blues.
Many believe that a matchup with the Pacific Division-winning Ducks was a worst-case-scenario for the crew from Calgary, especially since they havent won a game at Honda Center in more than a decade. That, of course, led some to wonder if Bernier was giving the coaching staff something to ponder before the playoffs.
Anaheim's John Gibson, 23, has started six playoff games in his career to Elliott's 37. That's probably wishful thinking, however, as this series between the Flames is very likely to explode with blind, raging, ice fury over the last game these two teams played. He must take charge this time.
"They're physical and they play hard each and every shift", said forward Kris Versteeg about the Ducks. "You get into playoffs, you have to be even more disciplined in your acts. I would expect Calgary is going to have a few surprises". But the Flames eventually got on track once players fully grasped Gulutzan's system. "There's a method to the madness there - to put something in the officials' heads going into the series".
Prediction: The Fowler injury is not insignificant, but the Ducks have the blue-line depth to overcome it.
Let's take a look at what it means for the match up between the Ducks and the Flames.