For the third time in four games, the Red Wings squandered a two-goal lead. This time, they couldn't even rescue a point out of it.
This time, it was a two-goal lead in the first period that they squandered, as the Los Angeles Kings had three in a row to win 3-2.
The Wings seemed to settle back after they jumped out to the lead: the Kings controlled play for the entire second period and a good portion of the third.
Unlike the last time these two teams met (when he made 51 saves), Jimmy Howard couldn't bail the Wings out: he made 30 saves on the 33 Kings shots. It was Jonathan Quick who made some spectacular saves tonight as part of the 31 save performance.
With the puck sitting on Dan Cleary's stick on a give-and-go, Cleary set the puck on Valtteri Filppula's stick. Filppula skated past Oscar Moller, held onto it for what seemed like an eternity, then put the puck past Quick for his fourth. Drew Miller picked up the second assist.
Then, with the Kings down two men with Alexander Frolov and Wayne Simmonds in the box, Henrik Zetterberg stole a Kings faceoff to keep the puck in their end. Brian Rafalski took a pass from Nicklas Lidstrom, skated parallel to the blue line and put a shot on net that deflected off Todd Bertuzzi's knee and went in. It gave Bertuzzi his 15h goal of the season, tying Tomas Holmstrom for the team lead.
In the second, the Kings closed the gap. Anze Kopitar took a shot from about 20 feet out. Howard made the initial stop, but he couldn't hold onto the puck, and Kopitar took advantage to tip the puck in to earn his 20th goal of the season. Brad Richardson and Simmonds picked up the assists.
In the third, Kopitar lost an edge to the right of Howard, and it looked as if the Red Wings could clear it. But the puck went to Simmonds, who passed it to a skating-down-Woodward Peter Harrold. He pulled a slapper that tied up Howard and went in for the defensemen's first goal of the season.
The Kings wrapped up their comeback as Scott Parse skated in towards the left of Howard, then set up Richardson who simply tipped it past Howard from nine feet away. It was the Richardson's seventh of the season, with Kopitar picking up his third point of the night.
The Red Wings will face Phoenix Tuesday night.
Player of the Game: Valtteri Filppula. His goal early, plus going 9-for-12 in faceoffs, should've been put to better use.