The Los Angeles Kings clinched a playoff berth with last night's 3-2 victory over the the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout in front of a sellout crowd at STAPLES Center, but the NHL playoff picture is still a bit murky.
As of Thursday afternoon, the Kings are in fourth place in the Western Conference. If they are able to knock off the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at home and then Saturday night in Anaheim, the Kings will be guaranteed a fourth place finish.
Though finishing in fourth place doesn't sound all that important, it would also mean that L.A. would have home-ice advantage in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Kings have done a solid job on the road, going into Saturday's finale with a 21-16-3 record, but being assured of playing on their home ice certainly wouldn't hurt.
If the season ended immediately, the Kings' first-round opponent would be the Nashville Predators though there's a possibility that L.A. could still fall to eighth in the conference if everything shook out just
Nevertheless, the Kings are in the playoffs!