Los Angeles at Detroit (10/15/09)

The Los Angeles Kings visited Joe Louis Arena tonight to play the Wings. Draper and Maltby were back in the lineup and Brad May was out as a healthy scratch. Datsyuk was also out with an upper body injury. They didn’t make much of a big deal about the injury so it’s probably not anything too serious. Jon Quick was the goalie for the Kings and Osgood was in net for Detroit.

For all the talk about urgency after the debacle of the previous game, the Red Wings got off to another sluggish start in this one. Within the first minute the Kings had two great scoring chances. On the second one the puck bounced off the post and hit Osgood in the butt. It then rolled toward the net and Osgood dove on it just in time.

The Kings got the first power play and they made the most of it. Osgood had the initial shot which he took up high in the chest. The puck then dropped to the ice but Dustin Brown stayed with it and put it into the net. With the exception of Helm, the Red Wings didn’t seem to be at all motivated up to that point in the game.

As the first period wore on, the Red Wings seemed to develop a little bit of jump, mostly from the third and fourth lines. Sometimes I wish we had a whole team of Helms.

Early in the second period Detroit went on the power play. They had one good scoring chance but Bertuzzi’s shot got away from him and it sailed up over the net by a mile. It seemed like nothing would go right for the Red Wings.

A few seconds after the power play ended there was a faceoff in the Kings end. Abdelkader won it back to Ericsson and he shot it toward the net. It may have hit the stick of a Kings player and changed direction slightly. Then it went off the inside of Quick’s skate and into the net. Finally, the Wings got a break and it tied the game at one.

Near the halfway point of the second period the Kings took a penalty for too many men on the ice and the Red Wings made them pay. Lidstrom shot the puck from the blue line with Holmstrom battling in front of the net. He tipped it by the goalie and into the net. It rolled slowly over the goal line and Cleary was right there to escort it into the net. He gave it a shove for good measure but it was already across the line.

Then the Kings game back strong with a breakaway and another good rush a few seconds later. Osgood came up big with two or three great saves to preserve the two to one lead.

The lead held until the end of the second period. The Wings seemed to be getting better as the game went on. Bertuzzi and Jason Williams were both doing some good things but just not getting the bounces.

In the third period Stoll was called for holding Draper, which Draper embellished and probably should have been penalized for as well. The Kings were on the power play at the time so it was 4 on 4 for a few seconds. Zetterberg won the first draw back to Lidstrom. He shot the puck and Zetterberg deflected it. It changed direction and went past Quick for the third Red Wings goal. That also marked Nick Lidstrom’s 1000th point of his career. That’s a heck of a milestone. There will probably be some sort of pre-game ceremony in the near future to celebrate the achievement. He also got a huge ovation when they announced the goal and the milestone.

Halfway through the period the penalty parade continued and gave us 1:10 of a Kings 4 on 3 power play. The Wings were able to kill off the penalties and hang on to their two goal lead.

A short time later the Kings scored on a deflection in front of the net. O’Donnell shot from the blue and the puck glanced off Lidstrom’s right leg. It changed direction and went by Osgood. He had no chance to stop it. That brought the Kings to within one. The goal was awarded to Justin Williams so I guess it must have hit his stick on the way to Lidstrom’s leg.

A few minutes later Bertuzzi stole the puck in the Kings end. He couldn’t quite get control of it though and ended up leaving it in the slot. Maltby stepped up and ripped it into the net. That made it four to two Wings and gave Bertuzzi his second assist of the season and Maltby his second goal.

At the end of the game the Kings had a power play and they pulled their goalie for a two man advantage. They weren’t able to score though and Rafalski got an empty net goal.

After another bad start the Red Wings really seemed to wake up as the game progressed. Hopefully, that’s a sign that they’re regaining their confidence.

This 2-5 win brings us to:
3-3-0
6 points

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