Author: Cam Tucker

Video: Doughty beats Bachman with blast from center ice


This made things interesting for a bit between the L.A. Kings and Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.

Down two goals just before the midway point of the third period, Kings’ defenseman Drew Doughty blasted a slap shot from center ice on Oilers goalie Richard Bachman. The puck somehow squeezed through Bachman’s legs, into the net, getting the desperate Kings back within a goal in a crucial game for the defending champs.

It wasn’t enough, however, as the Oilers held on for the 4-2 win, putting the Kings on the brink of elimination from playoff contention.

Defending champion Kings on brink of elimination from playoff contention


The L.A. Kings have been in similarly dire situations before.

Remember when they faced being swept out of the first round of last year’s playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, only to win four in a row to advance and, well, win it all.

Now the big question: Can the defending Stanley Cup champs conjure the same magic to just sneak into this year’s playoffs and save their 2014-15 season?

The Kings, starting back-up goalie Martin Jones instead of Jonathan Quick, lost to the Edmonton Oilers, one of the bottom dwellers in the Western Conference, by a final score of 4-2 on Tuesday. L.A. remains at 93 points, with two games remaining in its schedule. It’s absolute must-win time now.

“Got to win in. It’s obvious. You know what? We’ve been saying that for a while. We’ve played really well since the All-Star Break. Just try and continue to,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.

The Calgary Flames were victorious over the Arizona Coyotes, with that game finishing minutes before the Kings wrapped up in Edmonton with a disappointing loss. Further hurting L.A.’s hopes was the fact the Winnipeg Jets defeated the St. Louis Blues, as well, on Tuesday.

The Flames, two points up on L.A., and Kings will now meet on Thursday.

A regulation win for the Flames in that game would put them four points clear of the Kings, and eliminate L.A. from playoff contention.

The Kings are three points back of the Jets for the final Wild Card spot in the West.

The Flames, Kings and Jets all have two games remaining in their respective schedules.

The Canucks, who did not play Tuesday, clinch a playoff spot because of the result in Edmonton.

Video: Dubnyk backstops Wild to victory over Blackhawks to clinch playoff spot


Three months ago, there were calls for Mike Yeo to lose his job as head coach of the Minnesota Wild.

“Everything” was wrong with the struggling Wild at that time, according to Yeo. His temper got the best of him in a tirade that got caught on video and, of course, made its way onto the Internet.

On Jan. 7, the Wild was 11th in the Western Conference, and 2-4-4 in its last 10 games at the time.

That was in January. It’s now April and the Wild is in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The catalyst for Minnesota’s change in fortune? Goaltender Devan Dubnyk.

Of all the trades made this season, the Wild’s acquisition of Dubnyk from the rebuilding Arizona Coyotes could have the greatest impact in the post-season when it’s all said and done.

In a playoff-clinching situation against the Wild’s Central Division foes, the Chicago Blackhawks, Dubnyk was sharp again, making 32 saves. Minnesota got goals from Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker, returning to the lineup from a broken clavicle, less than four minutes apart in the third period for a 2-1 victory.

That’s 11 straight road victories for the Wild.

Playing on back-to-back nights? No problem for Dubnyk.

The Wild clinch a playoff spot with the regulation win.