AP

LA Kings look ahead after repeat dreams are dashed

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — After the Los Angeles Kings' Stanley Cup defense came to a crashing end in the Western Conference finals, general manager Dean Lombardi felt he couldn't fault his team for its effort or its tenacity.

Lombardi also believes the Kings can stay in annual Cup contention for quite a while.

The Kings spent Sunday decompressing from their elimination by the Chicago Blackhawks, who finished off the conference finals in double overtime in Game 5.

Although the Kings played impressively at times during their playoff run, they still lost seven of their last nine postseason games. They're the 14th consecutive NHL champion to fail to repeat.

Lombardi says he would love to keep his entire roster intact again, as he did last summer, but knows it will be more difficult.