Courtesy of a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night, the Los Angeles Kings have clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Californian club has made it to the big dance for the third season in a row and is looking to get past the first round for the first time since 2014, the last time they won it all.

Kings Make It Back to the Playoffs

L.A. had an opportunity to punch its ticket to the postseason two nights ago when they visited the lowly Anaheim Ducks. Much to their fanbase’s surprise, the Kings came up short, falling 3-1. Another opportunity to seal the deal beckoned when they returned home to face the already-eliminated Flames on Thursday. It was 3-0 for the hosts at the end of the second period, an impressive lead that even a Calgary goal in the third to make it 3-1 couldn’t put into doubt. A Kings empty netter late made the result academic.

The Kings are heading to the playoffs with a solid balance between offense and defense. Although the club doesn’t score a ton of goals (3.09 per match, 15th league-wide), they do have a quartet of players who have notched at least 25 markers this season: Trevor Moore (30), Kevin Fiala (28), Adrian Kempe (27), and Anze Kopitar (26). Furthermore, they are fourth best in the NHL regarding goals against average with 2.58. They have netminders Cam Talbot (2.49) and David Rittich (2.21) to thank for that. 

Related: What’s Behind Pierre-Luc Dubois’ Struggles This Season?

Pacific Division foes the Edmonton Oilers ended the Kings’ seasons the past two springs and they could face each other in the first round again. We’ll find that out within the next week.

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