Kings won't abdicate

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:30 AM ET

They're playing out the string.

With three games left in their regular season and the playoffs out of reach, the Los Angeles Kings have little on the line coming down the home stretch.

However, that doesn't mean they're willing to roll over.

"There's been a big focus on these games for the last couple of weeks with our team," Kings head coach Terry Murray said before last night's 2-1 win over the Oilers at Rexall Place.

"You have to battle through it, you have to play through it. You have to play hard and heavy and strong and experience those things in order to take something out of that experience and apply it to your games next year.

"It's real important that our remaining games have value in our minds."

LESSONS

With a young team, the Kings are trying to absorb as many lessons as they can towards the end of this season - lessons that can be incorporated by next year's squad.

"We're still playing hard," said defenceman and former Oiler Matt Greene.

"These are still big games for our young players. We're not in the playoffs, but we're playing plenty of teams that are or are making a push for it.

"We're playing a high level of hockey, which will make us better."

Having missed the playoffs for the sixth straight season, the Kings feel they're on the verge of turning the corner with the likes of talented forwards like Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Justin Williams in their lineup.

The strong core of young talent has the club optimistic for the future.

"I think we have a ton of skill here," Greene said.

"I think we're like a lot of other teams; we're just a couple of pieces away from getting into the playoffs and turning into an elite team.

"I think that starts with the growth of our players and making sure that guys continue to get better and not level off."


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