NHL - LA Kings sneak into play-offs

Thu, 07 Apr 07:34:00 2011

The Los Angeles Kings slipped into the post-season with a nail-biting 3-2 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes in a play-off decider.

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Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick improved his shootout record to a perfect 10-0 this season turning aside two of three shooters.

Jarret Stoll followed a successful attempt by Michal Handzus with his ninth shootout goal in 10 attempts this season for the game winner.

The victory moved the Kings ahead of Phoenix and Nashville into fourth in the Western Conference.

Stoll opened the scoring in the first period to stake the Kings to a 1-0 lead, but the Coyotes roared back with goals by Lee Stempniak and Taylor Pyatt before the end of the period.

Kyle Clifford scored the equalizer late in the second period, redirecting a perfect pass by Wayne Simmonds to set up the dramatic conclusion.

Anaheim Ducks winger Corey Perry smashed a hat-trick to become the first player to reach 50 goals in the NHL this season in a 6-2 thrashing of the San Jose Sharks.

Perry scored his milestone goal in the second period from the top of the crease, redirecting a pass from Teemu Selanne past Antero Niittymaki to give the Ducks a 4-1 lead.

He scored earlier on a snap shot and the eventual game-winner on a backhand.

"I thought 40 might be a stretch and then all the sudden they kept coming," said Perry, who is the first Ducks player to score 50 goals since Selanne in 1998.

"Fifty is a huge number. Everybody talks about it. Not a whole lot of people get to do that and be in that category. It hasn't really sunk in.

"I don't think it will until it's all said and done when the summertime comes. It's an exciting number and hopefully there is more to come."

It is the first time Perry has scored 50 goals in a season and easily out-strips his previous best of 32 goals scored two seasons ago.

Perry holds a six-goal lead over Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy with two games remaining for both players.

Reuters

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