Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes left wing Ray Whitney (13) celebrates after scoring on Vancouver Canucks goalie Cory Schneider (35) to tie the game during the third period at Jobing.com Arena. The Coyotes beat the Canucks 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
The Phoenix Coyotes won while the Calgary Flames lost on Sunday, shaking off the Western Conference playoff race.
With just under a month remaining in the NHL season, most teams have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 games left to play. The race for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference is nowhere near sorting itself out, and could go down to the final day of the season. The seventh-place team and the third team out of the playoffs are now separated by only two points after Sunday's games, in which the Calgary Flames lost and the Phoenix Coyotes won to grab seventh place.
Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 Calgary Flames
Hey, the really awful Blue Jackets are actually 5-5 over their last 10 games. They grabbed this win in a shootout, with Cam Atkinson scoring the winner. Calgary is now 11th in the West after the loss. Since Columbus isn't actually playing for anything, The Cannon is still sort of focused on Rick Nash, how he's not playing well, and how he's going to be gone shortly.
Bottom Of The Barrel:
Rick Nash - Our captain, our captain....still slumping. Pointless in six games, he managed all of one shot on goal, while making a number of serious offensive miscues that culminated in his busted shootout attempt. Given that he's gone cold since his "I love Columbus, but I still want traded" press conference...it's hard not to think that the divide between Nash and the front office is affecting his play.
Phoenix Coyotes 3-2 Edmonton Oilers
Things got off to a terrible start for Phoenix in this one, but they did a fantastic job to rally back and grab two points from the jaws of defeat. Jordan Eberle and Ales Hemsky scored twice in under a minute for the Oilers in the second period, giving them a 2-0 lead that they would take into the third period. Ray Whitney got the Coyotes back into the game with his 22nd goal of the year early in the period and Raffi Torres scored the key game-tying goal with just over two minutes left in the third.