With one regular-season game left, the Kings' playoff possibilities outnumber even Coach Darryl Sutter's new line combinations. This much is sure: The Kings can finish fourth in the West and have home-ice advantage in the first round if the St. Louis Blues lose in any fashion to the Chicago Blackhawks and the Kings beat the San Jose Sharks in any fashion Saturday. A win by the Blues would leave the Kings and Sharks fighting for fifth place. The winner would face St. Louis and the loser would play No. 3 Vancouver. The Kings own the tiebreaker over St. Louis and San Jose, and St. Louis owns the tiebreaker over San Jose. This much is sure too: The Kings will be without Dustin Brown, who's finishing a two-game suspension for elbowing Minnesota's Jason Pominville in the head. They might also lack defenseman Matt Greene, who didn't practice Friday and is day to day because of an unspecified injury. Sutter said it's not related to Greene's back surgery. "We need him to get minutes … and game situations," Sutter said. "It's disappointing, really." According to club stats whiz Jeremy Zager, 12 possible playoff scenarios could unfold Saturday for the Kings, Sharks and Blues. For Sutter, there's one imperative — win. "The last game that we won in the playoffs was on home ice and that does make a difference," Sutter said, referring to Game 6 of the Stanley Cup final. "Home ice is important." Defenseman Drew Doughty said the team's goal is to open the playoffs at Staples Center. "If we get home ice we can use that momentum on our side to hopefully put teams away the first couple games on home ice," he said. "Home ice is still important. We would love to have it."
Kings' Darryl Sutter has eye on home-ice advantage
Los Angeles Times | Apr 28