The Kings never stated that their goal this season was to win the Pacific Division, but if the right set of circumstances develops over the final two games, they’ll clinch their first divisional title since March 30, 1991. That was the date when Joe Murphy of Edmonton scored in overtime at Northlands Coliseum on the penultimate day of the regular season and knocked Calgary out of divisional contention, ensuring that the following day’s Kings-Flames game at the Saddledome took on significantly reduced importance. The results drew a standing ovation from that night’s Lakers-Trailblazers game at The Forum, according to Steve Springer’s story in the LA Times.
With Winnipeg’s win over San Jose on Thursday night, the Kings clinched home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. This will be only the 12th playoff series out of 48 in club history in which they’ve had home ice advantage; they’re 6-5 thus far. In best-of-seven series, they’re 4-3 with home ice advantage. The only playoff series under Darryl Sutter in which Los Angeles had home ice advantage were the 2013 second round series against San Jose, won by the Kings in seven games, and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final series against New York, won by the Kings in five games.
Los Angeles Kings 81 GP, 48-28-5, 101 points, 46 ROW
Anaheim Ducks 80 GP, 44-25-11, 99 points, 41 ROW
Because Anaheim can’t catch Los Angeles in regulation/overtime wins, the Kings own the tiebreaker and will win the division if the two teams finish tied.
Saturday, April 9
Anaheim Ducks at Colorado Avalanche, 2:30 p.m. PT
Winnipeg Jets at Los Angeles Kings, 7:00 p.m. PT
Sunday April 10
Anaheim Ducks at Washington Capitals, 4:30 p.m. PT
Saturday division clinching scenarios:
1) Anaheim loses in regulation to Colorado
2) Los Angeles beats Winnipeg in any fashion
3) Anaheim loses in overtime/shootout to Colorado and Los Angeles loses in overtime/shootout to Winnipeg