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Sharks, Kings wins make Pacific race tighter

Mar 18, 2012, 1:53 AM EDT

Martin Havlat Sharks

The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings both needed to win on Saturday and they both got their way.

The Sharks have benefited recently from getting Martin Havlat back, who scored two goals to help them earn their third win in four games. After a rocky start to the month, San Jose seems to have finally turned a corner.

Los Angeles managed to pace the Sharks with their fourth straight victory and seventh win in their last nine games. The Kings are one of the hottest teams in the Western Conference right now, but they’re still only tied for eighth place with San Jose, despite the fact that Los Angeles has played in one extra game.

Of course, both teams are competing for more than the eighth seed. The Pacific Division is about as tight as it can be right now. San Jose and Los Angeles are a mere point behind the division leading Dallas Stars and only a point ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes.

That’s a logjam that might clear up a bit next week with the Sharks scheduled to play the Kings on Tuesday and the Coyotes on Saturday. The Stars are also getting ready for a match against Phoenix on Tuesday.

There’s something to like about all four teams. The Kings feature one of the best goaltenders in the game right now and they have a deceptively (given their overall offensive output this season) talented core of forwards. The Sharks have two strong scoring lines now that Havlat is back. Dallas has a solid combination of good goaltending with some great top-end talent in Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn. Finally, the Coyotes have managed to defy the odds this season thanks in large part to goaltender Mike Smith. Phoenix is fading fast though and they’ll need to bounce back quickly if they want to stay in this tight race.

The point is that no division from one to four is closer right now and these teams might be the ones to watch over the final weeks of the season.

  1. sharksfan754 - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    The sharks somehow found a way to win thank the mother effing lord for the two points

  2. tru2joelu4eva - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    wow, the pacific really does look completely up for grabs. but i’m not sure about those “kings”…. if you ask me, their wins seem a little “flukey” and “tenuous’…

    • oside760 - Mar 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      someone seems worried about the Kings……..

  3. blomfeld - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:36 AM


    Though a little late in coming, we LA Kings are nonetheless grateful for this quality report by comrade Dadoun. His statement that “the Kings feature one of the best goaltenders in the game right now and they have a deceptively talented core of forwards” equates to nothing less than fact, let alone “quality” journalism. Anyway, our next tilt is against the San Jose Goldfish on Tuesday night, a team which makes me positively sick, for more reasons than one. Not only does Thornton’s face evoke “Planet of the Apes” thoughts … as well, the entire San Jose / Silicon Valley area is in my opinion “completely” responsible for the “over-stressed & over-connected” world which we now live in today. But don’t worry friends, we LA Kings are going to take care of business on Tuesday night … trust me …

    ps: Jocelyn Lane has always been my favorite chick from Elvis’ movies :)

  4. gsprulz - Mar 18, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    sharks really dominated this game, definitely seemed to have the quality chances on there side since the opening minutes. Howard was on his A game unfortunately Niemi gave up bad goals once again that made this a lot closer than it probably should’ve been.

    • hockinj25 - Mar 18, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      and then they decided that to beat Howard that had to tackle him in OT.

  5. oside760 - Mar 18, 2012 at 4:44 AM

    keep it up Kings!!!

  6. cup0pizza - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:53 AM


    • oside760 - Mar 18, 2012 at 12:08 PM


  7. sjsharksfan11 - Mar 18, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    You idiot the defenseman pushed him into Howard. Good way to find an excuse about it. Get a life.

  8. bleedzteal12 - Mar 18, 2012 at 5:42 PM

    Yeah hockin, that’s why the ref didn’t call anything. And every analyst last night was calling it a good goal. Way to step up s.j.fan11. We’ve had the Red’s number for the last 2 years.

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