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Kings eliminate Coyotes to claim one spot in Cup final; Rangers, Devils hope to pull one win away

Los Angeles began the playoffs as the eighth seed in the Western Conference. The Kings will finish the postseason as one of the top two teams in the NHL.

The Kings eliminated Phoenix with a 4-3 overtime victory Tuesday night, earning just the second Stanley Cup finals appearance in franchise history. They became the second No. 8 seed to reach the finals, joining the 2006 Edmonton Oilers.

"It means everything," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. "You grow up your whole life wanting to be in that Stanley Cup final."

The Kings won their eighth straight road game in the playoffs, becoming the first team to head to the finals unbeaten away from home. They'll start the Cup on the road at either New York or New Jersey next Wednesday.

The Rangers and Devils are tied, 2-2, in the Eastern Conference finals with Game Five tonight in Madison Square Garden.

The Coyotes were upset with the loss -- particularly captain Shane Doan, who felt a kneeing penalty should have been called on L.A. captain Dustin Brown just prior to Dustin Penner's winning goal -- but they will look back fondly on their best season, which may ultimately include finally finding an owner.

"There will be some frustration for a few days," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "But ultimately I think our players should look back and feel good about a lot of the things that they accomplished this year."

---John Vogl

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |