Detroit at Los Angeles (2/28/11)

Detroit continued their road trip tonight in Los Angeles with a game against the Kings. The starting goaltenders were Jimmy Howard and Jonathan Quick. Franzen was out of the lineup tonight to stay home with his wife who just delivered their first child on Sunday. Congratulations to the Franzen family! Rafalski had joined the team but wasn’t able to play so Kindl was in instead.

The first period was a little bit strange. I didn’t feel like Detroit was playing very well and yet by the end of the period they were winning three to one. Early in the period Howard went to catch a puck that was lobbed up in the air but was coming in on net. He seemed to lose it in the lights and missed in. The Kings went after it and Helm took a hooking call trying to prevent their scoring chance. On the ensuing power play Howard got beat for a goal when Handzus popped in a rebound. A few minutes later Miller answered with a shot that snuck between Quick’s pads and into the net. Then, just 30 seconds later, Hudler shot the puck towards the net and Cleary knocked it down and in. Just like that the Wings had the lead. Near the end of the period Lidstrom scored with a nice power play blast that got through a bunch of bodies and went off the post and in. Even with all the scoring it seemed like L.A. was playing better than the Wings. Their fore check especially was much more effective than Detroit’s. L.A. seemed to be controlling the puck more but it’s hard to complain about a two goal lead!

In the second period I thought the Wings started playing a lot better. They were more aggressive on the loose pucks, they were faster and they controlled the play a lot more. There was no scoring though until the very end of the period. The Wings were on the power play and Datsyuk made a great play to keep the puck in the zone. Then he took it to the net and snapped it over Quick’s shoulder. That made it four to one Red Wings at the end of the second.

Hudler was called for hooking immediately when the third period started so the Kings thought they could get back into the game. Helm had other plans. He made great move to chip the puck away from one of the Kings players and started up ice with it. He blasted it and beat Quick five-hole for a shorthanded goal that put Detroit four goals up on the Kings. Then Miller scored his second of the night and Hudler scored one, too. Those three goals were the Red Wings’ first three shots of the period. After Miller’s second goal the Kings pulled Quick and put in Bernier. The Kings scored three goals in the second half of the third period but at the point nobody was all that interested anymore so I don’t think we should worry too much about the late goals.

So the Wings have won two out of two so far on this road trip. Now they head to Anaheim for a game on Wednesday night.

This 7-4 win brings us to:
39-18-6
84 points

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