Kings Coach Pat Quinn made good on a promise to give some of his veteran players a rest before the playoffs when he benched right wing Dave Taylor, defenseman Brian Engblom and left wing Phil Sykes for Friday night's game against the Calgary Flames.
The day off must have done Taylor and Engblom some good.
Taylor scored a shorthanded goal in the first period, and Engblom got a goal in the second period as the Kings beat the Minnesota North Stars, 3-2, Saturday night before 11,476 fans at the Forum.
The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Kings (33-31-13), who were shut out Friday night at Calgary.
But the Kings, who have three games left in the regular season, still have a few problems to solve before the playoffs open next month.
The Kings got a good performance from goalie Bob Janecyk Saturday night, who held a one-goal lead for the final 8:55. It was Janecyk's first win since March 17, when he beat the Edmonton Oilers, 5-4.
Taylor scored his goal with 3:33 left in the first period to give the Kings a 1-0 lead. Taylor took a pass from Dionne and beat goalie Gilles Meloche.
The Kings, playing shorthanded after Rick Lapointe was called for holding, blew two scoring chances early in the second period when Dionne missed on back-to-back breakaways with 11:30 left.
The North Stars almost scored with 9:10 left in the second period when Bo Berglund hit the right goal post on a slapshot.
There was a brawl with 6:24 left. The first scuffle matched Taylor against Minnesota defenseman Dave Richter. King defenseman Jay Wells and North Star defenseman Harold Snepsts then got into it. Wells yanked off Snepsts' glove, and they went at it along the boards. Taylor and Richter got double minors, and Wells and Snepsts got five minutes apiece for fighting.
Linesman Bob Hodges suffered a bruise near his left eye when he was hit by a stick while trying to separate Snepsts and Wells.
Engblom scored his fourth goal of the season with 3:33 left in the second period to give the Kings a 2-0 lead. Nicholls set up the play with a nice pass to Jim Fox, who fed Engblom in the crease.
The North Stars cut the lead to 2-1 with 2:07 left in the second period when Keith Acton took a pass from Brian Bellows and put a shot off the left post and into the net. Minnesota outshot the Kings, 16-5, in the second period. Nicholls scored on a power play goal to put the Kings ahead, 3-1, and Berglund scored with 8:55 remaining to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Kings rested three players along with injured center Doug Smith. Left wing Terry Ruskowski, rookie defenseman Craig Redmond, and right wing Anders Hakansson sat out the game.
King Notes The Kings play the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night in a preview of the playoffs. The teams meet in the first round beginning April 10. King playoff tickets go on sale Tuesday at the Forum and all Ticket Master outlets in Southern California.