Defending champion Kings on brink of elimination from playoff contention

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The L.A. Kings have been in similarly dire situations before.

Remember when they faced being swept out of the first round of last year’s playoffs by the San Jose Sharks, only to win four in a row to advance and, well, win it all.

Now the big question: Can the defending Stanley Cup champs conjure the same magic to just sneak into this year’s playoffs and save their 2014-15 season?

The Kings, starting back-up goalie Martin Jones instead of Jonathan Quick, lost to the Edmonton Oilers, one of the bottom dwellers in the Western Conference, by a final score of 4-2 on Tuesday. L.A. remains at 93 points, with two games remaining in its schedule. It’s absolute must-win time now.

“Got to win in. It’s obvious. You know what? We’ve been saying that for a while. We’ve played really well since the All-Star Break. Just try and continue to,” said Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter, as per LA Kings Insider.

The Calgary Flames were victorious over the Arizona Coyotes, with that game finishing minutes before the Kings wrapped up in Edmonton with a disappointing loss. Further hurting L.A.’s hopes was the fact the Winnipeg Jets defeated the St. Louis Blues, as well, on Tuesday.

The Flames, two points up on L.A., and Kings will now meet on Thursday.

A regulation win for the Flames in that game would put them four points clear of the Kings, and eliminate L.A. from playoff contention.

The Kings are three points back of the Jets for the final Wild Card spot in the West.

The Flames, Kings and Jets all have two games remaining in their respective schedules.

The Canucks, who did not play Tuesday, clinch a playoff spot because of the result in Edmonton.