Kings enter fourth quarter

With 20 games remaining in their regular season, the Kings essentially have entered the “fourth quarter.” Things are not trending in the right direction for the Kings. In their first 21 games, they had an 11-7-3 record. In their next 20 games, they had a 9-7-4 record. In their last 21 games — the third quarter, so to speak — they had a 8-8-5 record. Simply put, the Kings need their final stretch to be much better than their previous stretch. As of this morning, the Kings are in ninth place in the Western Conference, tied with eighth place Dallas but trailing because of the tiebreaker. Seventh-place San Jose is three points ahead but has two games in hand. Dustin Brown and Darryl Sutter both addressed the challenge the Kings face.

BROWN: “It always kind of plays out that way. The most important thing for this team is, we can’t be looking at the scoreboard. We have enough work in front of us, so we have to concern ourselves with what we have to do. We’re not worrying about other teams. We have to worry about ourselves right now.’’

SUTTER: “You’ve got to stay focused on the mission. You can’t look back and you can’t look too far ahead. You’ve got to stay in the moment of it. I hope we understand how tough it is, because everything is so close.’’

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