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Kings, with one game left, could finish fifth, sixth or seventh: a breakdown

April 10, 2010 | 10:02 pm

After the Kings' shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, which left Los Angeles with 99 points, the playoff implications remain fluid.

Nashville collected two points Saturday with a victory against the St. Louis Blues in a shootout, meaning that the Predators and the Detroit Red Wings each have 100 points, though Detroit is in fifth place and Nashville in sixth by virtue of Detroit having one game left (the Red Wings play at Chicago on Sunday).

If the Kings, currently in seventh place, win their final game of the regular season Sunday in Colorado, they will have 101 points and would pass Nashville and clinch sixth place. If Detroit also loses in regulation or overtime to the Blackhawks, the Kings would jump to fifth place.

But if the Kings lose in overtime Sunday, they would have 100 points and would finish no better than sixth. Nashville owns the tiebreaker (47 wins, and the Kings can do no better than 46 wins), and Detroit would have to lose in regulation for Kings to finish in sixth place.

If Kings lose in regulation Sunday, they would finish in seventh place.

Here is the tie-breaking system, courtesy of nhl.com:

Division leaders are seeded 1, 2 and 3 in the conference standings. If two or more clubs are tied in points during the regular season, the standing of the clubs is determined in the following order:

1. The fewer number of games played (i.e., superior points percentage).

2. The greater number of games won.

3. The greater number of points earned in games between the tied clubs. If two clubs are tied and have not played an equal number of home games against each other, points earned in the first game played in the city that had the extra game shall not be included. If more than two clubs are tied, the higher percentage of available points earned in games among those clubs, and not including any "odd" games, shall be used to determine the standing.

4. The greater differential between goals for and against for the entire regular season.

-- Debbie Goffa

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