The kings had to wake up before sunrise Saturday morning to catch a 7:30 flight from Edmonton, Canada, following a 9-4 loss to the Oilers the previous night. After arriving at LAX, the players went straight to a hotel near the Forum to rest and eat a team meal. They skipped the normal pregame skate.
Once the game started, it looked as if the Kings were suffering from jet leg as they lost for the fifth time in their las six games, 6-2 this time, before 8,893 fans.
The kings next game will be an exhibition against the Soviet Union's Red Army team Thursdaynight at the Forum.
"Maybe we'll learn something from the Russians," King center Marcel Dionne said. "It can't be any worse."
The Canucks had played in Vancouver Friday night and took a charter flight to Los Angeles immediately after the game, arriving about 3 a.m. Saturday.
"Maybe we should try that at home," said Vancouver Coach Tom Watt when asked about the Canucks' early-morning arrival. "Don't put that down, or they'll be cheating on curfew."
Vancouver left wing Petri Skriko scored two unassisted goals, including an empty-netter with 42 seconds left, and rookie goalie Wendell Young also played well in picking up his first National Hockey League win. Young faced 30 shots, giving up only power-play goals to King right wings Dave Taylor and Bryan Erickson.
Young, 22, was called up from the minors last week. He made his first start against the Washington Capitals last Tuesday, earning a 4-4 tie. Young replaced starting goalie Richard Brodeur in the second period of Friday's night's 5-3 win over Toronto after Brodeur suffered a pulled back muscle.
Young maed his best save in the first period when he robbed King left wing Dave (Tiger) Williams of a goal on a breakaway. Williams made a nice move to get around Vancouver defenseman Rick Lanz, then gave Young a little fake to get him out of position. The goalie went down but reached out and just managed to get apiece of the puck with his glove while lying on his back.
"My best, or luckiest, save was on Williams," Young said. "I missed a poke check on hi and I put my glove down, and he put it right in my pad.
"I was a little nervous in my first game against Washington, but I felt quite confident tonight."
Leading, 1-0, after a first-period goal by Stan Smyl, the Canucks scored twice in less than three minutes in the second period to make it 3-0.
Center Steve Tambellini scored his sixth goal of the season on a rebound of a shot by Moe Lemay at 7:48 of the second period, and right wing Tony Tanti picked up his 200th NHL career point and 21st goal of the season at 10:46 of a pass from center Thomas Gradin.
Goals by the Kings' Taylor at 13:02 and the Canucks' Skriko at 15:41 made it 4-1. Then Erickson scored at %:28 of the third period as the Kings cut their deficit to 4-2. Bernie Nicholls assisted on both King goals.
But Vancouver center Brent Peterson scored a shorthanded goal with 9:25 left in the third period to give the Canucks a three-goal lead. It was the fourth shorthanded goal that the Kings have allowed in their last two games.
The Kings had only three shots in the third period until they pulled goalie Bob Janecyk for an extra skater with 2:30 left in the game.
Skriko, who had scored an unassisted foal i the second period, scored an empty-net goal with 42 seconds left for the final margin.
The victory helped the Canucks (12-19-4) take over sole possession of third place in the Smythe Division, Two points ahead of the idle Winnipeg Jets.
It was the Canucks' first victory in their las six games on the road.
"It was a big win for us, very big," Watt said.
The Kings, who have allowed five or more goals in 21 games this season, are 8-21-4.
Referee Ron Hoggarth missed the first 14 minutes of the game because his flight from Edmonton was delayed. Linesman Leon Stickle called penalties until Hoggarth arrived. Hoggarth also worked the King-Oiler game Friday night. . . . About 3,000 tickets remain for the King game against the USSR Red Army team Thursday night at the Forum.