The Kings clinched their first playoff berth in three years without lifting a stick when the Detroit Red Wings beat the Vancouver Canucks Friday night to mathematically eliminate the Canucks.
But the Kings would like to move out of fourth place in the Smythe Division. They don't want to meet the Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the playoffs.
So the Kings beat up on the Red Wings Saturday night at the Forum, scoring five power-play goals en route to a 8-3 win before 13,822 fans.
Left wing Dave (Tiger) Williams, acquired by the Kings from Detroit just before the National Hockey League trading deadline last Tuesday to add some muscle to their lineup, got into his first fight in two games with the Kings.
Williams got a 10-minute game misconduct penalty and was ejected from the game with 14:55 remaining in the third period for being the third man into a fight between Kings center Doug Smith and Detroit rookie right wing Joe Kocur.
Williams, the all-time leader in penalty minutes, got a standing ovation from the crowd when he skated off the ice to the locker room as the organist played "Hold That Tiger."
There was another fight behind the Kings goal with 12:44 left in the game when Kocur and Smith went at it again. They were penalized two minutes each for roughing and five minutes each for fighting.
With 6:10 left Kings wing J.P. Kelly and Detroit defenseman Colin Campbell fought along the boards near the Red Wings bench. Campbell bit Kelly's thumb during the course of the action.
Campbell was ejected from the game and received a five-minute match penalty and a five-minute penalty for fighting. Kelly got two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and five minutes for fighting.
Left wing Brian MacLellan scored two power-play goals to help the Kings stretch their unbeaten streak to three (1-0-2) going into tonight's game against the Oilers at the Forum.
Centers Bernie Nicholls had two goals and two assists and Marcel Dionne had one goal and three assists.
The win moved the Kings (31-26-13) to within three points of third place Calgary. The Kings play three of their final nine games against Calgary.
Trailing 5-2, the Red Wings scored a with 10:57 left in the third period on a power-play when Ron Duguay got his 33rd goal of the season.
But the Kings came back less than a minute later when Jim Fox scored off a pass from Nicholls with 9:59 left.
Defenseman Brian Engblom added a power play goal with 1:58 left.
The loss left the Red Wings (22-38-11) two points behind the third-place Minnesota North Stars in the Norris Division.
The Kings outshot the Red Wings 13-6 in the first period and led 2-1.
Smith scored his 20th goal of the season with 14:27 left in the first period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.
Detroit goalie Greg Stefan blocked Smith's first two shots, but Smith beat him on the rebound. It is the first time in his four-year pro career that Smith has reached the 20-goal mark.
The Red Wings tied it at 1-1 with 11:06 left when rookie left wing Gerrard Gallant scored his third goal of the season. Gallant took a pass from Bob Manno and faked Kings goalie Darren Eliot. Eliot committed himself by coming out of the crease and Gallant skated around him and put the puck into the net.
However, the Kings scored three straight goals to take command of the game.
The Kings had their first power play of the game with 7:25 left in the first period after Kocur got a two-minute penalty for roughing Nicholls.
And the Kings, ranked fifth in the NHL with 74 power play goals, took advantage of the chance. MacLellan scored his 28th goal of the season in scramble in front of the net to give the Kings a 2-1 lead with 6:32 left in the period.
The Kings got a scare in the closing seconds of the first period when defenseman Brian Engblom almost put a loose puck in his own net while trying to clear it. Engblom lost control of the puck and it hit the post.
The Kings scored their second power play goal of the game after a hooking penalty on Red Wings left wing John Ogrodnick 1:29 into the second period.
Dionne scored his 41st goal of the season to give the Kings a 3-1 lead at 2:51 of the second period.
Nicholls made it 4-1 when he scored his 43rd goal of the season with 5:02 left in the second period off a pass from Terry Ruskowski. Ruskowski had just missed getting a goal a few seconds earlier when he shot over the net on a three-on-one break.
With seven seconds left in a hooking penalty on MacLellan, the Red Wings scored a power-play goal to close the score to 4-2 with 1:11 left in the second period.
Left wing John Ogrodnick, the fifth leading goal scorer in the league, got his 51st of the season off a pass from Ivan Boldirev.
King Notes General Manager Rogie Vachon missed the game because he was in Canada, scouting. . . . The Kings will close out their homestand against Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers tonight at 7:30. . . . The Kings will play the Red Wings again next Wednesday night at Detroit to end the three-game season series. . . . King right wing Jim Fox, who sat out Wednesday night's game against Hartford with an eye injury, returned to action Saturday night wearing a mask.