Detroit at Los Angeles (2/6/10)

For this afternoon’s game the Red Wings were on the road in Los Angeles to face the Kings. This game featured two red hot young goalies in Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick.

There’s been some trade news to report today. To make cap space for Franzen the Red Wings traded Ville Leino to Philadelphia for defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a 5th round draft pick in 2011. Tollefsen had to be put on waivers immediately and is being sent straight to Grand Rapids. He’s had some concussion and knee problems lately so hopefully he’ll be able to stay healthy.

The Red Wings drew first blood in this one. Nearing the halfway point of the first period Datsyuk brought the puck into the zone and took it to the corner. Holmstrom was in front causing a distraction. Zetterberg snuck in the back door and was left wide open. Datsyuk made a great pass through middle and Zetterberg tapped it in easily for the first goal making it one to nothing Wings.

Just 16 seconds later Cleary brought the puck into the zone and tried to pass it to Filppula but he didn’t connect. The puck bounced down in the slot and Filppula circled around and fired it towards the net as Cleary continued to the goal. It hit the skate of a Kings player in front of the net and went in. Just like that the Wings had a two goal lead early in the game.

Near the end of the first period the Red Wings went on the power play when Doughty was called for a cross check. The Kings had a shorthanded scoring chance and Williams was forced to take a hooking penalty to prevent a possible goal. That made it 4 on 4 for the rest of the period. There was a face off in the Kings end with about 11 seconds to go. Detroit won the face and Lidstrom fired the puck off the back boards. It bounced to the front where Rafalski shot it. Quick stopped it but the rebound was just sitting there in front of the open net and Zetterberg popped it home. That gave the Red Wings a three nothing lead with fewer than 5 seconds to go in the first period.

About halfway through the second period Brad Stuart turned the puck over in his own end. Parse ended up with it and took it behind the net. He centered it to Frolov who one-timed it right in front of the net. Jimmy Howard stopped it but the rebound came right back to Frolov who put it in the net on his second try. That made it three to one Red Wings.

It was announced during the second period that Holmstrom had left with left leg injury. I’m not sure when it happened or exactly what caused the injury.

Later in the second period Howard came out to play a dump in. Somehow he put it towards his own skates and then lost it. As Howard was trying regain control Handzus came in and poked it away from him. Handzus then gathered it in and put it in the net. That was big flub by Howard and I’m sure he wasn’t too happy about it. That made it three to two Detroit.

Just a few minutes later the Kings tied the game. Simmonds was working the puck down low and threw it towards the front of the net. Smyth and Stoll were both right there on the doorstep. Smyth managed to smack it into the back of the net to even the score with under four minutes left in the second period.

At some point earlier in the game Eaves had blocked a shot and must have injured his foot. He left the bench and didn’t return.

Then, late in the second period Miller was also injured blocking a shot and left the game. With Holmstrom, Eaves and Miller all out of the game, Babcock had to do a lot of line juggling.

Zetterberg and Helm both came close to scoring. They hit the same post within a few seconds of each other.

Late in the third period the Kings had a shot on goal that Howard stopped but the rebound was bouncing around. Handzus grabbed it and put it in the net for the Kings’ fourth unanswered goal. After being up three to nothing, Detroit was now trailing by one.

The Red Wings pulled the goalie at the end but weren’t able to score.

This was just about the worst outcome imaginable for the Red Wings. Playing against a team that they’re trailing in the standings they ended up losing after having a three goal lead. To make matters worse they also lost three players to injury. If they Wings had won the game they would have been seven points behind L.A. in the standings. Since they lost they’re now 11 points behind. That’s a four point swing and a lost opportunity.

Losing the three forwards was probably a big factor in why the Wings lost the game. The rest of the team had to pick up the slack and by the end I think they were just plain worn out. They didn’t play badly. They hit a lot of posts and gave up some fluky goals. This is just a day that I’m sure they’d rather forget.

This 3-4 loss brings us to:
27-21-10
64 points

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