Murray Tries to Avoid Letdown

Lest anyone get the wrong idea, the Kings' celebration of making the playoffs was a short one. They spent a long, hard Sunday on the ice, preparing to play Phoenix tonight.

"We're 10th overall in the NHL among 28 teams," Coach Andy Murray told the Kings. "To be ninth or 10th out of 28 teams is a good feeling.

"And we can finish second in our division and fourth in our conference.

"Those are two things worth doing."

The Kings clinched a playoff berth with a 2-1 win over the Mighty Ducks on Saturday, and can put two more points between themselves and Phoenix tonight in the race for fifth place in the Western Conference.

That would probably earn them the right to play Detroit, a difficult task but a series in which the two teams were 2-2-1 against each other this season.

"Actually we've played well against all [of the teams the Kings could face in the first round]," Murray said. "It's against teams in our division that we've struggled."


Rob Blake suffered a bruised knee while delivering a check in Saturday's game, but skated on Sunday. If his knee is sore, Blake will be rested tonight and Jaroslav Modry will take his place.


at Phoenix, 7:30

Fox Sports Net

* Site--America West Arena.

* Radio--KRLA (1110).

* Records--Kings 37-30-11-4, Coyotes 37-34-7-4.

* Record vs. Coyotes--2-3.

* Update--Phoenix can clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie. The Kings will play Jamie Storr in goal for the first time in five games.

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