NHL: Golden Knights' chances of making playoffs dwindle

NHL: Golden Knights’ chances of making playoffs dwindle

Another blow was dealt to the Vegas Golden Knights’ chances of making the playoffs, as they fell to the Vancouver Canucks 5-1 on Wednesday.

Elias Pettersson scored twice and had two assists to lead the Canucks to the victory, which capped a Golden Knights five-game winning streak.

The Golden Knights were considered by many observers as contenders for the Stanley Cup. With a few weeks to go until the end of the regular season in the NHL, they are at risk of not making the playoffs. Beyond tonight’s game against Vancouver, the Knights have ten games left, including four against opponents who are currently in playoff position.

The victory also gave a boost to the Canucks’ slim hopes of making the playoffs as they try to secure a berth among the draft teams. Vegas (82 points) is one point behind eighth-placed Dallas, while the Canucks (76) are seven points behind the Stars.

Bo Horvat, Brad Richardson and Tanner Pearson also scored for Vancouver. Thatcher Demko was excellent in front of the Golden Knights offense stopping 33 shots.

Jack Eichel scored Vegas’ only goal and Robin Lehner made 26 saves.

It was Vancouver’s first win over the Golden Knights since joining the NHL in 2017.

Stone has a reason to celebrate

Michael Stone had his first goal of the season and an assist in his 500th NHL game, and Elias Lindholm scored his 36th goal in the Calgary Flames’ 4-2 win over the Anaheim Ducks.

Tyler Toffoli also scored and Johnny Gaudreau got his 96th point on an assist for the Pacific Division-leading Flames, who have won back-to-back games after their first three-game losing streak since January.

Jacob Markstrom made 26 saves and Matthew Tkachuk added an empty-netter with 35 seconds left.

Stone is in a defensive depth defender role. He hadn’t had a single-point game since October 17, 2018.

Trevor Zegras and Adam Henrique found the back of the net for the Ducks as goaltender Anthony Stolarz blocked 24 shots. The California team has lost 13 of its last 14 games.

The Flames struck first when Gaudreau delivered a brilliant backhand pass to Lindholm from behind the net. The latter, well positioned in the enclave, did not miss his chance to make it 1-0.

In the second period, Toffoli weaved his way through the Ducks defense before shooting into the top end to put on his 19th of the season.

Zegras replied for the Ducks late in the second period. Then, as the hosts multiplied their missed chances, Stone unleashed a powerful shot that found the back of the net.

Henrique kept the Ducks in the game by scoring on the power play with 8:07 to go, but they were never able to create a deadlock to force overtime. Tkachuk drove the final nail into an empty net.

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