When the Kings’ schedule was released in late June, eyes were drawn to the bottom, to the season-ending home-and-home set with the San Jose Sharks. With the Kings and Sharks expected to contend for the Pacific Division title, it stood to reason that those games would hold major significance. Indeed, they will. Who would have guessed, though, that the teams would be fighting for the division title, but that one of the team might miss the playoffs altogether? The thought would have been shocking last June.

The Kings host San Jose tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Before that, Dallas plays at Nashville in a game that starts at 5 p.m. Pacific time and holds huge significance. If the Stars lose that game — in regulation, overtime or a shootout — the Kings will have clinched a playoff spot right around the time of their opening faceoff against the Sharks. Of course, there is the division title still up for grabs — more on that later — but Sutter laughed when asked whether he would want his players to know the result of the Dallas game before their own opening faceoff…

SUTTER: “You think they wouldn’t know? [laughs] I think they’d know.’’

Question: Maybe a couple back slaps in the locker room?

SUTTER: “I doubt it. That’s not how our players are.’’

Regardless, Jarret Stoll said the players are looking forward to the significance of the home-and-home series against the Sharks…

STOLL: “Maybe halfway through the season, we were starting to see that, and I think a lot of people did. It’s two good teams. it’s going to be fun. It’s the way it should be. It’s a battle right down to the end and there are no easy games. It hasn’t been easy for us, for sure, but we’ve put ourselves in a good situation, to be where we want to be if we can take care of our own business like we have been lately.’’

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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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