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Kings shut out Coyotes to clinch playoff berth
Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Jonathan Quick made 17 saves for his sixth shutout of the season and the Los Angeles Kings clinched a playoff berth for the fifth straight season with a 4-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.
Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar and Tanner Pearson each had a goal and one assist and Drew Doughty also scored for the Kings, who were coming off Monday's 3-2 loss at home to Minnesota, which snapped a six-game winning streak.
They are 15-4-0 in their last 19 games and clinched at least third place in the Pacific Division to make the playoffs.
"Maybe four or five years ago, this was a big deal," said Kings captain Dustin Brown. "Now this is just part of the process. It is good to get it out of the way now when we need to use our remaining games to get our game in order."
Thomas Greiss, in net again for injured Coyotes starter Mike Smith, gave up four goals on 32 shots.
Phoenix, battling for a wild-card spot, is 2-2-1 since Smith suffered a knee injury in a loss to the Rangers on March 24.
"We have five games left. We are still out of the playoffs right now but we all know how important these points are so we have to make sure we win the rest and get in," said Phoenix center Martin Hanzal.
The Coyotes were playing for the second day in a row after losing 2-1 in a shootout to Winnipeg at home on Tuesday.
Pearson put them in a hole just 80 seconds into the game when he one-timed a pass from Carter past Greiss from the right side.
Doughty scored on a power play 2:27 into the second period with a wrist shot from the left circle and Carter and Kopitar put the game out of reach with goals 40 seconds apart in the third.
Carter kept it himself on a 2-on-1 and Kopitar's power-play goal at 9:50 came on a one-timer from the right side.
The Kings (45-26-6) are one win shy of the single-season franchise record set in 1990-91 and matched in 2010-11.
The Kings finished a three-game homestand and will go on the road for four in a row starting Thursday in San Jose ... The Coyotes are home against Edmonton on Friday.
04/03 02:05:01 ET
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