After losing four straight games, it looked like the Anaheim Ducks might waddle their way into the 2013 playoffs. Since then, they’ve won two contests in a row, clinching the Pacific Division title in the process.
Both wins came in a home-and-home against the lowly Edmonton Oilers; Monday’s final score was 3-0.
Viktor Fasth had a 24-save shutout while Ryan Getzlaf, Radek Dvorak and Sami Vatanen scored the goals. Corey Perry collected two assists.
This is the second Pacific Division title in Ducks franchise history. That first one came in 2007 … when they won their only Stanley Cup.
This victory also guarantees that Anaheim will be the second seed in the West because the Ducks cannot finish higher than top seed Chicago or lower than Northwest Division leader Vancouver (two teams who are coincidentally facing each other right now).
Ducks fans now only have to worry about the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks in more far-flung playoff ways. Instead, they can divert their attention to the West’s lower seed squabbles, pondering which team would ideally nab the seventh seed.
Report: Coyotes shut down Vitale (concussion) for the season
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.
Gaudreau, Monahan, Bouma express remorse after benching
“We want to apologize to the organization, the coaches, our team especially, and the city of Calgary and the fans,” Gaudreau said, per the team’s Twitter account. “For us not to show up like that, and miss a game like that, it’s not professional on our part.”
“I’m a young guy and I’m a leader on this team,” Monahan added. “I’ve got to step up and take that back and earn that respect again.”
More on what transpired at Tuesday’s practice, from Sportsnet’s Mark Spector:
Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley did his best to keep an epic Super Bowl party under wraps. But two of his players — Lance Bouma and Sean Monahan — arrived at the Saddledome at 10:15 am for a 10:30 Monday morning practice, and those two barely beat Johnny Gaudreau in the Saddledome doors.
Then practice started, and in the words of Calgary winger David Jones: “It’s a little embarrassing when we’re not (making) five-foot passes.”
“I think (Hartley) was pretty pissed off.”
The trio was then subsequently benched for last night’s game against Toronto, which the Flames won 4-3.
Tonight, the New York Rangers are in Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins at Consol, in a rematch of the ’14 and ’15 playoffs (the Blueshirts eliminated the Pens from each of the last two postseasons, you’ll recall.)
You can catch the game at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, or watch live online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.