Kings Vs. Sharks: L.A. Clinches Playoff Spot, But Falls 6-5 In Shootout

April 5, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings right wing Justin Williams (14) is defended by San Jose Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle (22) and center Joe Thornton (19) during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

The Kings and Sharks are tied atop the Pacific Division with 94 points.

The good news for the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night was that they clinched a spot in the NHL playoffs. However, the bad news was that the Kings no longer control their own fate in the Pacific Division, thanks to their 6-5 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center.

The Kings and Sharks are tied atop the Pacific with 94 points, and the two teams play again on Saturday in San Jose. The Phoenix Coyotes are still lurking with 93 points and two games left, but it seems likely that the Saturday rematch in San Jose will decide the division.

The Kings have not won a division since 1991. The Kings clinched a playoff spot earlier Thursday when Dallas lost in Nashville.

But as for Thursday, the talk will be the penalty on Ryane Clowe that wasn't called when he interfered with the puck with his stick from the Sharks' bench. But the Kings allowed three goals in the third period, which sent the game to overtime, where they ultimately lost in overtime.

Justin Williams scored two goals for the Kings, and Anze Kopitar and Willie Mitchell each had three assists in defeat.

For more news and information on Kings hockey, be sure to read Jewels From The Crown.

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