Kings become second team to clinch a playoff berth - LA Kings Insider

With Los Angeles’ win over the Boston Bruins and the Arizona Coyotes’ regulation loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Kings have officially qualified for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. It is the 29th time they have qualified for the playoffs in franchise history and sixth time in the last seven seasons. With 11 games remaining in the season, this is the earliest they have clinched a playoff berth under Dean Lombardi.

“It’s huge. That’s the goal of the season, is to clinch a playoff spot, especially as early as you can,” Milan Lucic said. “You know, last year, falling just short, it definitely gives you motivation in the offseason to come in and have a good season. There’s still 11 games left and we want to finish as high up as we can in the standings, hopefully we keep playing that hard-nosed style of hockey, that playoff-style of hockey. It’s a great accomplishment, it’s been a fun 71 games so far and I think we need to keep the foot on the gas pedal and keep it going.”

The earliest the team had clinched under Lombardi in previous seasons was in 2013-14, when they had clinched with five games remaining. The only other team to have already qualified for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs is Washington, which is running away with the Presidents’ Trophy with 107 points through 70 games.

Darryl Sutter has coached his team to the playoffs 14 times in 17 NHL seasons, having led the Kings to the playoffs four times, the Blackhawks three times, the Sharks five times and the Flames twice.

According to the Kings, the first opportunity for fans to buy playoff tickets for home playoff games in Round 1 will take place in early April. Tickets will go on sale to club Season Ticket Members beginning on April 4 (with other presales to follow) and to the general public beginning on April 7. Private suites for Round 1 and 2 are on sale now by calling 1-888.KINGS.LA. Including playoffs, Los Angeles has sold out 196 consecutive games.

11 games remain on the schedule, and it is far from clear whom the Kings will match up against in the first round. With 93 points in 71 games played, Los Angeles is six points up on second-place Anaheim, though the Ducks have a game in hand. Third place San Jose has 86 points in 71 games played. Were they to win the Pacific Division, Los Angeles would match-up against one of the Western Conference’s two Wild Card teams. Were they to finish in second or third place, they would face a divisional opponent.

The first overall seed in the conference is far from settled. In 73 games, Dallas has garnered 95 points, while second-place St. Louis has 93 points in 73 games and third place Chicago has 90 points in 72 games. The full standings can be found here.

Los Angeles opens up a three-game road trip in Nashville on Monday night before visiting Minnesota on Tuesday and Winnipeg on Thursday.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
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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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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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