The mission for the Los Angeles Kings tonight? Beat the Coyotes and make the playoffs for the fifth consecutive season.
Any type of Kings win – via a shootout, shutout, overtime, blow out, or by forfeit – will clinch a playoff spot and the Pacific Division’s third seed. Should Phoenix lose in any fashion, they could at best tie Los Angeles in points and would be unable to surpass the Kings in regulation wins.
Tonight’s game is enormously important for the Coyotes, who have fallen behind the Dallas Stars, winners of three straight. The teams are tied with 85 points, though the Stars have a game in hand and four more regulation wins after dispatching Washington 5-0 last night. Dallas will finish off a five-game Eastern Conference swing with games in Carolina, Tampa Bay and Florida on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.