The reffing standard in this game was...not good. Detroit did get three power play chances that they failed to capitalize on and they also gave the Kings two lengthy 5-on-3s. This loss wasn't the refs' fault. The refs helped, but Detroit put themselves in a position to lose and the Kings took advantage of that.
This one was quite a goalie battle with both tenders putting up big performances for their teams. This one's too close to call on the head-to-head. Statistically, Bernier had a better game, but I think Howard made more big saves. Howard will get a +1 overall. If he's off his game, the third period doesn't matter because the Kings are winning big by the end of the 2nd.
1st Period 09:42 - Detroit Goal: Kyle Quincey (boom, headshot) unassisted.
Jordin Tootoo does a great job forechecking in the Los Angeles zone, creating a loose puck that Kyle Quincey steps into. Bernier makes the stop, but the puck bounces out of Bernier's glove, high into the air, and then into the net off the back of his head. Hilarious way for Quincey to get his first goal of the year. Tootoo will get an assist and a bonus plus for his work on this play.
3rd Period 10:26 - Los Angeles Goal (PP): Jeff Carter (tip in) from Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar
The Kings finally break through on a 5-on-3 tip, as Dustin Brown plays the screen in front and Jeff Carter sneaks in to overpower the crease. Richards slap-passes it into the group and Carter tips it under Howard. No adjustment.
3rd Period 15:12 - Los Angeles Goal: Anze Kopitar (wrist shot) from DJ King and Trevor Lewis
Kopitar pulls it out of a scrum on the boards all alone and undresses Howard for the game-winner. Tootoo and Miller won't get minuses for having their high coverages. It's kind of unfortunate with Emmerton taking out Ericsson on a board battle here, as both are doing basically what they're supposed to be doing. Emmerton tripping Ericsson up (with a tiny bit of help from Kopitar) is some bad luck, but they'll both keep their minuses. Kronwall has a defensive breakdown on this though. He should be playing the net-front here and isn't. This would be ok if he stops the pass from King to Kopitar, but he doesn't. Kronwall will pick up a coverage minus.
Penalty Adjustments (pluses and minuses only)
1st Period 06:56 - Rob Scuderi (tripping): Scuderi mishandles an outlet pass in his own zone and Johan Franzen is all over him threatening to take it in alone on Bernier. Scuderi has no choice but to trip his man. Franzen will earn a plus.
2nd period 11:35 - Justin Abdelkader (boarding): Abby realizes the mistake he's making in the middle of making it. That's not going to excuse him. Minus for Abdelkader.
2nd Period 13:20 - Pavel Datsyuk (hooking): Already tired from penalty-killing a 5-on-3, Datsyuk and Miller can't get the puck out of the zone and Pavs ends up taking a hooking call. Datsyuk a full minus and Miller a half on this mess-up.
3rd Period 04:27 - Slava Voynov (hooking): Zetterberg does a great job forechecking on Voynov and draws a hook. Plus for Zetterberg.
3rd Period 09:18 - Kyle Quincey (roughing): Kyle Clifford takes a run at Quincey (legally) and Quincey jumps out of the way, grabbing Clifford's head on his way. Dumb decision here. Quincey gets a minus.
3rd Period 09:40 - Pavel Datsyuk (faceoff violation): Dumb rule or not, Datsyuk broke this one. Pavel will get a minus.
+1 to Henrik Zetterberg and Cory Emmerton: Their penalty killing in this game was excellent and Emmerton laid some nice hits.
-1 to Jonathan Ericsson: I also liked his PKing, but the turnovers he committed in this one were reminiscent of a scary time.
+1 to Niklas Kronwall: A few mistakes, but Kronwall played an overall very solid game in his own zone over 27 minutes of ice time, including 3 minutes of SH ice time in the 2nd period.
Franzen hitting a post was the difference between having an ok night on his first game back and not having an ok night. Smith looked to be shaking rust off. Tatar continues to work hard, but he faded late.