This playoff spot brought to you by goaltender Jonathan Quick.
The Kings officially clinched a playoff berth Saturday night with a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins at Staples Center, their fourth straight win. It is the sixth time in the last seven seasons they have done so, having missed the playoffs last season.
An outside assist came from Tampa Bay, which defeated Arizona earlier in the night. That result became official in the third period of the Kings-Bruins game and, after that, all the Kings needed was a single point.
Quick made sure they got two, giving them 93 on the season and keeping them two points behind Western Conference leader Dallas, which also won Saturday.
Quick adeptly handled a tough task, allowing one goal while facing 28 shots in securing his 37th victory of the season, second behind NHL leader Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals.
The Kings' goal scorers were left wing Tanner Pearson, who got his 13th of the season, a career high, and defenseman Alec Martinez, but Quick was the standout.
He was on his game early, stopping Brad Marchand with an incredible toe save with less than five minutes left in the first period.
Marchand must have been shaking his head as Quick would later deny him again, this time with a blocker save when the Bruins were on the power play.
"Quickie's the best goalie in the world," Martinez said. "I don't know what really else to say. But he's huge for our hockey club.
"You feel like a broken record when you talk about it all the time. But he was unbelievable back there."
The Bruins were 0 for 4 on the power play. They were outscored, 9-3, during their three-game West Coast swing and the Kings outscored them 11-3 in their two meetings this season.
"Our penalty kill came up huge today," said Kings left wing and former Bruin Milan Lucic. "Quickie made some real big saves on some great second-shot opportunities."
There was an injury concern for the Kings as recently acquired winger Kris Versteeg left the game in the third period, having taken a shot off his right foot, via a blast from Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg.
Versteeg, who had three points in the three games before Saturday, was acquired in a deal with the Carolina Hurricanes just before the trade deadline.
Many of the Kings had been unaware that they could clinch a playoff spot Saturday night. That they are vying for the top spot in the West — tied with St Louis just behind the Stars with less than four weeks remaining in the regular season — had nothing to do with the shortcomings of 2014-15, Kings winger Dustin Brown insisted.
"Quite honestly, it has nothing to do with last year," he said. "We've gone down the path of playing Game 7s on the road. It's definitely something we're comfortable with.
"But if you say, 'Would you rather play [Game 7] in L.A. or play in Dallas? Would you rather play in L.A. or play in Chicago?' I think we'd much rather play here."