Oilers clinch at least one round of home-ice, lock Sharks to third in Pacific

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Sunday’s events will determine their opponents, but the Edmonton Oilers made it certain that they’ll begin the playoffs at home.

Let that sink in for a moment: they’ll get at least a round of home-ice advantage in their first playoff run since 2005-06, when they fell a win short of a Stanley Cup.

The Oilers defeated a pesky Vancouver Canucks team 3-2 on Saturday, with Connor McDavid getting an assist for his 98th point of the season and Milan Lucic‘s great effort leading to the clincher:

Edmonton handed a big deal to Lucic because he’s capable of imposing his will in moments like those. Wow.

With this win, the Oilers give themselves a chance to win the Pacific Division if Sunday breaks the right way. Edmonton needs to win tomorrow (vs. Vancouver, again) and they need the Anaheim Ducks to lose. On the bright side for the Oilers … the Kings would likely relish spoiling things for Anaheim, providing a decent send-off for a lost season.

The San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 3-1, but they’ll settle for the third seed in the Pacific. To recap, here’s how the West “bracket” looks like after tonight:

  • The Chicago Blackhawks will face the Nashville Predators (more here).
  • The Minnesota Wild take on the St. Louis Blues (full post).
  • The Calgary Flames will face the Pacific Division champ.
  • The Sharks will begin the playoffs on the road against the Pacific runner-up.

Yes, a lot has already been decided, but teams still have plenty to play for on Sunday. The Oilers made it certain that they’ll either finish up in a good or great situation.