<
>

Western Conference wrap: Offenses continue clicking, Giordano continues struggling

Offense was the story in the Western Conference last week. The conference had one of its brightest offensive stars in Connor McDavid sidelined with a severe injury, while Patrick Kane, Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn became the first three players in the league to reach 20 points on the season. Here’s a look at the week that was in the Western Conference:

WHO’S LOOKING GOOD

Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have found life. They’re on a four-game winning streak and have scored 11 goals in their past four games after scoring a total of 10 over their first 10 games. Ryan Getzlaf returned Friday and totaled four assists in two games. Corey Perry has two goals and three assists during the winning streak. Goaltenders Frederik Andersen and Anton Khudobin haven’t allowed more than two goals in the Ducks’ past five games. The Ducks also lead the league with a 91.7 penalty-kill percentage.

Dallas Stars: The Stars already have three three-game winning streaks this season. They notched the third one this past week with a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins, a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes and a 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings. They’re averaging 3.60 goals per game. A big reason for that is their top line (see below). Defenseman John Klingberg also has been as good as the Stars hoped this season, with two goals and 13 assists. Kari Lehtonen started the past three games and made 87 saves on 92 shots.

St. Louis Blues: The Blues began the week losing to the Los Angeles Kings and falling behind the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 after one period on the road. Things turned around when the Blues outscored the Blackhawks 4-0 over the remainder of that game and won 6-5 in overtime. They continued rolling with a 4-0 road win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday. Goaltender Jake Allen had 45 saves against the Predators and stopped 103 of 106 shots for a .972 save percentage in the three games. Alexander Steen had three goals and an assist in the two wins. He has eight goals on the season.

Jeff Carter, Los Angeles Kings: Carter is on a three-game goals streak and has scored in five of the past seven games. He has seven goals and 15 points on the season.

Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks: Kane extended his NHL-best points streak to 10 games. He had a goal and three assists in the Blackhawks’ 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. He is tied for the NHL lead with 23 points, which includes 10 goals and 13 assists.

WHO’S LOOKING BAD

Colorado Avalanche: The Avalanche are already being left behind in the Central Division. They’re the only team in the division under .500 and trail the first-place Stars by 15 points. The Avalanche dropped their seventh one-goal game of the season on Friday.

Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks are still near the top of the Pacific Division, but the past week didn’t help matters. They have dropped their past three games, all of which were one-goal defeats. Their penalty kill had been dominant, but they allowed a power-play goal in each of their past three losses.

Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators: Forsberg came out producing again this season, but he’s since slowed down. He had two goals and four assists in the his first six games. Since then, he’s had zero goals and two assists in seven games. He hasn’t scored a goal in the past nine games and has a 6.1 shooting percentage for the season. He scored 26 goals last season as a rookie.

Mark Giordano, Calgary Flames: Giordano has struggled this season after a torn biceps this past February ended one of the best seasons of his career early. He produced 48 points and had a plus-3 goal differential last season. He has six points and has a minus-7 through 15 games this season. He’s also taken nine minor penalties, tied for third-most in the league this season.

INJURY UPDATE

Duncan Keith, Blackhawks: Keith skated with the Blackhawks on Sunday for the first time since having surgery on a torn right meniscus. He could return as early as Saturday’s game against the Blues.

Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild: Parise suffered a sprained MCL in his right knee against the Nashville Predators on Thursday. He is expected to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers: McDavid fractured his left clavicle during a game last week. Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli expected McDavid to be out “months” following a surgery. McDavid has five goals and seven assists in 13 games this season.

Chris Tanev, Vancouver Canucks: Tanev missed the Canucks’ game on Sunday with an upper-body injury. He is considered day-to-day. The Canucks recalled Alex Biega from the AHL to replace Tanev, who is averaging 22:30 of ice time.

BEST LINE

Dallas Stars: There’s no stopping the line of Benn, Seguin and Patrick Sharp right now. Seguin is tied for the league lead with 23 points. Benn is third with 21 points. Sharp has really come on in the last few weeks and has six goals and 12 points. They have combined for 25 goals and 56 points through 15 games.