It’s a three-game sprint to the finish in the Pacific Division. The Kings and Phoenix have 91 points, San Jose has 90 and Dallas has 89. Any one of the three teams could win the division, and one of the four is certain to miss the playoffs. Perhaps one of you hockey historians might have the answer, but has there ever been a scenario in which, with six days remaining in the regular season, four teams have a legitimate chance of winning a division? Last season, the Kings finished fourth in the division and were seven points behind first-place San Jose. In the post-lockout era, that’s about as close as it gets. Darryl Sutter paused when asked if he had ever seen a division race this tight, then said, “I can’t remember that.’’

The question is, if you make the playoffs, does it matter? A division title sounds nice, and it does bring home-ice advantage, but Sutter knows that’s not everything. When he coached Calgary to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2004, the Flames were the No. 6 seed and knocked off No. 3 Vancouver, No. 1 Detroit and No. 2 San Jose. That’s certainly not the easier road, but if it’s the only road available, Sutter will take it.

SUTTER: “It matters more to make the playoffs. We’ve got to beat Edmonton (tonight), or you’re not asking the same question on Tuesday, right? You know what my focus is, so really you’re getting ahead of that. I haven’t even really began to wonder about that. To make it, right now, has to be the primary focus, because that’s a tough task. When you’re asking about the division title, really, it’s five teams for three spots (in the Western Conference), depending on how you want to look at it. That’s pretty tough, when they’re all that close. We have to beat Edmonton. That takes it from five teams to four teams, if you look at it. Because one team [Colorado] can’t catch us if we win (tonight). That’s how you look at it. It’s not who is ahead of you, it’s who is behind you and what they have left. If you look at the teams’ records in the last six or seven weeks, in our last 20 games we’ve lost four games maybe. What more can you ask? Not much. That’s why you’ve got to stay focused on one game.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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