All it took was a single breakdown by the flashy Wings for Anze Kopitar to capitalize. On a night when the Kings looked flatfooted early and often, they held Detroit to only a single goal until the 3rd when Jeff Carter deftly tipped a puck past the Wings’ Howard with less than 10 minutes to play.
The Kings fore-check finally sunk its teeth into a slippery Detroit club and delivered the final blow with under 5 minutes to play when Kopitar received a pass from Dwight King as he slid backwards toward the Red’s net. Realizing it was only the goalie between himself and a goal, Kopitar deked left, slid the puck back against the grain and tucked it in past a sprawling and helpless Howard.
Overall it was another ugly win by the Kings and that’s the way they seem to like it, or at least don’t mind it. Their perseverance was a thing of beauty after watching an almost-robotic like Red Wing team flirt with chance after chance only to find themselves at the mercy of a more powerful, more patient and equally skilled Kings team.
The Cup Champs now find themselves in the midst of a 5 game winning streak that has propelled them into 5th place in the West.
Note: Kings earn the day off. No Practice Thursday.
“King and Lewy are good on the walls. Quite honestly that’s the biggest problem we had tonight, the wingers weren’t very good on the walls, and we were just trying to find three sets of wingers that would give us that in the third. And got lucky right? Got lucky we had the right guys out there. Players weren’t lucky, I was lucky. It’s not always easy to win, and you don’t always play a perfect game. I don’t think there was much in our tank to be honest.” More here…
“The first period was bad. The second period was better. Then the third period we got even better again. So that’s one thing we’ve been struggling with is our starts. So we gotta make sure we’re well prepared for the games.” More here…
“We were playing on our heels a little bit, and after that I thought we started chipping pucks, getting those pucks deep. That’s our game. When we cycle the puck and we play down low, we’re a very successful team, and I think that’s what happened in the second.” More here…
Los Angeles showed more spark later, but its oft-struggling power play had a particularly low moment in the second period after three consecutive Red Wings penalties. Given two full minutes of 5-on-3 play, the Kings barely threatened Howard and the Detroit defensemen, who got a loud ovation from the red-clad fans crowding the lower bowl.
Inside the Kings
The Kings played a stellar defensive game Wednesday night. They had no choice because the smooth-skating Detroit Red Wings had them pinned down in their own end of the ice for extended stretches and it looked like they were skating uphill whenever they controlled the puck.
Detroit Free Press
The Wings couldn’t have had a much stronger start: They practically owned the puck, batting it around L.A.’s zone with such efficiency.Bernier had seen 10 shots by the midway point of the first period. One of those beat him: Quincey’s shot – and it’s generous to call it a shot – went in off Bernier’s mask as Voynov tried to out-stick Jordin Tootoo for the puck.
The Detroit News
For two periods the Red Wings were the better team Wednesday. But it was a costly third period that did the Wings in again. Goals by forwards Carter (power play) and Kopitar rallied Los Angeles to a 2-1 victory over the Red Wings.
Kopitar’s assasin-like skill