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AP: ap_468b1a471969440d500f6a7067009096
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty (8) and Phoenix Coyotes forward Shane Doan (19) vie for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
The Phoenix Coyotes are right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race, though they didn't look the part on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

Falling in a 4-0 rout to the Kings, Phoenix was never competitive in the game that saw it get off a season-low in shots on goal.

But the Coyotes know that as they enter the season's home stretch in a tie for the final playoff spot, they need to ramp up their play.

"Especially this time of year, there has to be desperation," Phoenix captain Shane Doan told Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. "We have to be better."

The Coyotes are tied with the Dallas Stars at 85 points apiece, but Phoenix has just five games remaining while the Stars play seven as of Thursday afternoon.

"We haven't been too focused on them," Doan said. "We can't afford to have any more falters. We've got to be as good as we've been all year. We cannot get caught up on what everyone else is doing."

The Coyotes had a chance to control their own destiny before back-to-back road losses in their past two games. But if Phoenix wins out -- it plays two games on the road and three at home, including the season finale against Dallas -- Doan said he feels pretty good about the Coyotes' playoff chances.

"If they can go 6-1, then that's a good run and we tip our hat. We haven't been good enough," Doan said. "But if we win five in a row, that puts us in, I think.

"We think every game is a winnable game. At home you've gotta win three. On the road, you've gotta find a way to do it. If you look at it in the big picture, it can be scary, but at the same time, it tells you there's a chance."

Alex Williams,

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