The Kings closed out their most successful season in three years with a 4-4 tie against the Vancouver Canucks Saturday night in front of 11,140 fans at the Forum.
And now they can get down to serious business, taking on the defending Stanley Cup champion Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the National Hockey League playoffs Wednesday night. The Oilers won the season series from the Kings, 4-3-1.
The Kings finished with a record of 34-32-14 and 82 points, their most successful season since 1981.
The Kings scored 339 goals in 80 games, breaking the team record of 337 set during the 1980-81 season.
Center Marcel Dionne finished fourth in the NHL scoring race with 46 goals and 80 assists.
Center Bernie Nicholls, who had two assists Saturday night, reached the 100-point mark for the first time in his career. Nicholls had 46 goals and 54 assists.
Right wing Dave Taylor, who had two goals against the Canucks, became the fourth King to reach the 40-goal mark. Taylor finished with 41 goals and 51 assists.
The Kings were also a hit at the box office, drawing a total of 486,624 fans for 40 home games, an average of 12,166. The club drew 404,718 last season with an average of 10,377.
The Kings' goaltending had been one of the club's major problems in the last three seasons, but rookie goalie Bob Janecyk, acquired during the off-season from the Chicago Black Hawks, has worked out well. Janecyk finished the season with a record of 22-21-8.
Most of the credit for the Kings' success must go to first-year Coach Pat Quinn and General Manager Rogie Vachon.
"Playing over .500 was a lot more than we expected," Vachon said. "All we wanted to do was make the playoffs. I think everything went pretty smoothly."
The Canucks (25-46-9) are one of five teams which failed to make the playoffs, but they gave the Kings' problems Saturday night.
The Kings led, 3-2, after the second period, having gotten goals from Taylor in both periods.
But the Canucks tied the score at 3-3 with 13:26 left in the second period when Tony Tanti scored off a two-on-one break off a pass from Mike Stevens.
The Kings went ahead, 4-3, with 11:36 left in the third period when left wing Brian MacLellan scored his 31st goal of the season on a power play.
But the Canucks tied the score at 4-4 with 3:31 left on goal by Cam Neely.
The Kings had a power play with 1:53 left in the third period after a fight between Canuck defenseman Doug Lidster and the Kings' Phil Sykes. Lidster drew a two-minute roughing penalty in addition to his five-minute major.
The Canucks snuck an extra man onto the ice for the last 15 seconds, but it went unnoticed by the officials.
The Kings had several good scoring chances in the five-minute overtime period, but Vancouver goalie Frank Caprice made some spectacular saves to turn them away.
The Kings had looked flat in Friday night's game against the Canucks at Vancouver, but Terry Ruskowski had scored twice to lead the Kings to a 4-3 win.
Saturday night, the Kings got off to a slow start for the second straight night.
The Canucks scored on their first shot, just 53 seconds into the game, when defenseman J.J. Daigneault beat King goalie Bob Janecyk low to the glove side on a shot from the top of the left circle.
Taylor scored his 40th goal of the season in a scramble in front of the net with 4:33 left in the first period to tie the score at 1-1. It was the third time in Taylor's seven-year career that he has scored 40 goals.
The Kings had a power play with 3:49 left in the first period when Canuck left wing Moe Lemay got a two-minute penalty for hooking Dave (Tiger) Williams.
But the Canucks scored a shorthanded goal just nine seconds later when center Mark Kirton beat Janecyk on blast from just outside the blueline.
The Kings tied the score at 2-2 with 1:09 left in the first period when Anders Hakansson scored off a pass from Phil Sykes.
Taylor scored again, with 3:21 left in the second period, to give the Kings a 3-2 lead. Taylor took a pass from Dionne and put the puck through the legs of Vancouver goalie Frank Caprice.
King Notes Marcel Dionne won four of the eight team awards that were presented during the first period intermission: MVP, leading scorer, most popular player and most three star selections. Other award winners were: best defenseman--Mark Hardy; outstanding rookie--Bob Janecyk; most inspirational--Dave Taylor, unsung hero--Phil Sykes. . . . Center Doug Smith, who had missed the last four games after reinjuring his right knee, returned to action Saturday night.