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L.A. Kings take a big early lead and beat Calgary 4-1 to clinch their 3rd straight playoff berth

Calgary Flames center Kevin Rooney, left, and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson watch the puck as it flies during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) Calgary Flames center Kevin Rooney, left, and Los Angeles Kings defenseman Mikey Anderson watch the puck as it flies during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
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LOS ANGELES -

Viktor Arvidsson scored two goals and the Los Angeles Kings clinched a playoff berth with a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Kevin Fiala and Akil Thomas also scored in a workmanlike win for the Kings, who will be in the postseason for the third consecutive spring. Los Angeles lost to Edmonton in the first round in both of the previous trips, and a third straight matchup is possible with the Kings currently sitting third in the Pacific Division behind the second-place Oilers.

Cam Talbot made 23 saves and captain Anze Kopitar had two assists as the Kings opened a four-game homestand to end the regular season under interim coach Jim Hiller. Los Angeles missed the chance to clinch by losing at Anaheim on Tuesday, but quickly got back into form by beating Calgary for its fourth win in five games.

Jonathan Huberdeau scored in the third period for the Flames, who have lost nine of 11 as they wrap up a non-playoff season.

Jacob Markstrom stopped 26 shots for the Flames, who beat Los Angeles in Calgary on March 30.

The Kings scored 26 seconds into an early power play at their downtown arena when Fiala wired a wrist shot through traffic for his 28th goal. The Swiss forward's 11th power-play goal was also his 30th point on power plays this season, making him the first Los Angeles player to hit that mark since 2010.

Arvidsson doubled the lead early in the second period, snapping a sharp-angled shot past Markstrom for the third goal of his injury-shortened season. The veteran forward has played in only 15 games this season, sitting out until mid-February while recovering from back surgery and then missing another month with a lower-body injury.

Thomas scored seven minutes later, expertly batting down a slap shot from the point by Matt Roy and bouncing it past Markstrom for his third goal in the past four games and the first home goal of his career.

Thomas spent most of this season in the AHL, but the Kings' second-round pick from 2018 has made an immediate impact since his NHL debut 10 days ago, perhaps even playing his way into a postseason role. Thomas is the first Kings skater to score three goals within his first five NHL games since Brian Boyle did it in 2008.

Arvidsson added an empty-net goal with 3:14 to play, earning his first multi-goal game since March 26, 2023.

UP NEXT

Flames: At Anaheim on Friday.

Kings: Host Anaheim on Saturday.

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