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Kings clinch playoff berth with win over Flames

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The Los Angeles Kings punched their third straight postseason ticket with a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

The Kings sit third in the Pacific Division, where they finished in each of the two previous campaigns.

L.A. heads back to the playoffs after firing head coach Todd McLellan on Feb. 2. Jim Hiller's squad is 19-11-1 since he took over at the All-Star break. The Kings had lost 14 of 17 and fell to a wild-card spot when McLellan was let go.

They lost to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round both last season and in the prior campaign.

The Kings haven't made it out of the opening round since winning the Stanley Cup in 2014. Following their two championships in a three-year span, the San Jose Sharks dispatched them in five games in 2015-16 en route to their own Cup Final appearance.

Two years later, the Vegas Golden Knights swept L.A. in the first round before making a trip to the final in their inaugural season.

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