The road trip continued for the Detroit Red Wings, this time traveling to a different city and playing the Los Angeles Kings for the visitors' third game in four nights. Again, the Red Wings would have to do without their captain Henrik Zetterberg, The only other lineup change was a planned start for Jonas Gustavsson, giving Jimmy Howard a spell during this stretch of four games in six nights.
Sorry for keeping you up even later. Let's get to the lights, high and low!
The Kings attempted a bold strategy of making the Red Wings even more tired by forcing the puck drop to a later time with a "Legends Night" ceremony for Detroit assistant coach Tony Granato. It seemed to work at the start because Los Angeles pretty well dominated the early going. On a power play, the Kings kept the puck along the boards before Jake Muzzin fired a point shot that deflected off both Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams in behind Gustavsson.
Los Angeles would hang onto that 1-0 lead for a while, and they also kept Detroit off the board in shots because the Red Wings didn't get their first shot on goal until about eight minutes into the game, when a Jakub Kindl point shot on the power play (!!!) was Detroit's first shot on goal.
This was a good period for Detroit. They carried the play. It did not result in goals, unfortunately, especially when Teemu Pulkkinen found Stephen Weiss in front of the net with Jonathan Quick wandering. Weiss tried to handle the puck for a second instead of one-time it, so he lost the handle and that opportunity went to waste.
This was some suffocating hockey on the part of both teams. Detroit did a good job limiting the Kings' chances to get an insurance goal, and they did all they could to get the tying goal themselves. The Red Wings were their own worst enemy as the game wound down, when Kindl took a hooking penalty and Luke Glendening fired the puck straight into the crowd from his own zone on the penalty kill. The power play goal from the first stood up as the game winner.
- Riley Sheahan was the best player for Detroit in this game. Controlling puck down low in the Kings' zone and trying his damnedest to create some offense, his efforts alone couldn't get a puck into the back of the net for the Red Wings.
- Jonas Gustavsson had a good game. He had no chance on the first goal, and while he was still his nerve-wracking self at times, especially punching out rebounds in bad places, his defense helped him out sometimes and other times, the rebounds were in so close, there was nothing by pad to shoot at. He did his job and gave the Red Wings a chance to win this game.
- The power play took a few opportunities to decide to fire pucks at the net with some urgency. On some of the earlier opportunities, Detroit passed (hahaha) up several opportunities to skate in and challenge the Kings' penalty killers and set up some good shots. The No. 1 power play in the league got foiled tonight when it could have won them the game.
- Pavel Datsyuk tried to do a lot himself, and he almost came close to connecting. For as long as Zetterberg is out, the Red Wings need Datsyuk to lead this team in the captain's absence.