Kings Clinch Spot For NHL Playoffs
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jarret Stoll had a goal and an assist, Kyle Clifford scored the tying goal late in the second period and the Los Angeles Kings clinched their second straight playoff berth with a 3-2 shootout victory over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night.
Stoll also had the deciding goal in the tiebreaker, his ninth in 10 shots during shootouts this season and eighth in a row. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves and stopped Lauri Korpikoski to end the game, improving to 10-0 in shootouts.
Both teams came in knowing that a victory would mathematically put them in the postseason. The Coyotes need one more point to secure their second straight postseason berth.
Los Angeles concludes its regular season schedule with a home-and-home set against the Anaheim Ducks, who tightened their grip on a playoff berth with a 6-2 win over San Jose. The Kings and Ducks have never been to the postseason in the same year since the NHL expanded to Anaheim in 1993-94.
Lee Stempniak and Taylor Pyatt scored first period goals for Phoenix and Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves.
Pyatt was one of three players who returned to the Coyotes’ lineup, along with Korpikoski and All-Star defenseman Ed Jovanovski. Jovanovski played his first game since Feb. 17, when he collided with the helmet of Atlanta Thrashers forward Patrice Cormier and had to undergo surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone in his left eye and missed 20 games.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)