LA Kings' late-season slip sets Canucks matchup

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on April 11, 2012 at 10:00 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — For a few days late in their tumultuous season, the Los Angeles Kings were on the verge of a breakthrough. They were in position to win just the second division title in franchise history, and they could have hosted a playoff series for the first time in about two decades.

With two extra-time losses to the San Jose Sharks in the final three days of the regular season, the Kings slipped all the way from third place to eighth in the Western Conference, stumbling into a first-round matchup with the Vancouver Canucks, the two-time Presidents' Trophy winners.

No wonder coach Darryl Sutter chose to emphasize the Kings' positive achievements this week before they headed to British Columbia for their first two dates with the mighty Canucks on Wednesday.

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