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Vegas Golden Knights

Vegas Playoff Fate Decided Tonight

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Golden Knights game, Logan Thompson

The Vegas Golden Knights can determine their own postseason path tonight simply by beating a team that sits 30th in a 32-team NHL.

If Vegas beats Anaheim tonight, it stays in third place in the Pacific Division. That will earn the Golden Knights a series against the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Golden Knights are 1-1-1 against Edmonton this season.

The one catch here: Vegas has had issues playing Anaheim this season. The team is 1-2 against the Ducks this season. But the teams haven’t met since Dec. 27. Anaheim is 2-7-1 in its last 10.

Should the Golden Knights lose to Anaheim, it opens the door for the Los Angeles Kings to retake third place. Vegas starts the night with a one-point lead (98 to 97 points) over the Kings in their race. The Kings have the tiebreaker (wins in regulation) over Vegas. That means if the Golden Knights lose in regulation, the Kings would need only one point to regain third place.

If Vegas earns a point against Anaheim, the Kings would need to win to grab third.

The loser of the Kings vs. Golden Knights contest will end up with the second wild card position. That will put them against the No. 1-seeded Dallas Stars in the first round.

The Stars clinched the top spot in the Western Conference by defeating the St. Louis Blues in a shootout Wednesday night.

Coach Bruce Cassidy’s team, the defending Stanley Cup champion, is peaking at the right time. They are going for their fourth consecutive win tonight. Vegas has also won six of their last nine games. Since March 21, the Golden Knights are 9-3-1.