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Insane final minutes earns Red Wings point, fall to Kings 5-4 in OT

A play-of-the-season contender for Larkin and last minute goal from Sundqvist earns a point but nothing more

Los Angeles Kings v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

The Red Wings head into their third regular season game of the year trying to end a losing streak to their opponent, The Los Angeles Kings have won the last 4 games against Detroit with the Red Wings last win coming on December 10th, 2018. It’ll be a tough task as the team will be without two of their best offensive weapons.

Tyler Bertuzzi will be out for the next 4-6 weeks with what appeared to be a right-hand injury. Meanwhile, Jakub Vrana will be out tonight for personal reasons leaving the door open for Filip Zadina and Joe Veleno to both come into the lineup. It’ll be Zadina’s first appearance for Lalonde’s Red Wings as he was a healthy scratch in each of the first two games. Veleno played in the opener but was a healthy scratch as well for the 5-2 win over New Jersey

The Kings had a rough start to the year, losing their first two games at home against the Vegas Golden Knights and Seattle Kraken. This game against Detroit is their second of a five-game road trip that started off with a 7-6 win over the Minnesota Wild. They’ve allowed the fourth most goals in the NHL with both Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen struggling so far.

Speaking of netminders, Quick will get the start tonight for the Kings while Ville Husso will get the start for the Red Wings. Coming off a 29-save shutout against Montreal on opening night, the Finnish netminder will look to out-duel his legendary counterpart to keep the Red Wings road to 82-0-0 alive.

1st Period

A bit of a slow start for the Wings as the first few chances go the way of the Kings. Also important to note that Mickey Redmond has declared the tall boys line as “The Treesome” and, well, there you have it, folks.

The Red Wings finally get their first chance after Olli Maatta’s skate collides with the skate of the Kings’ defenseman Sean Durzi causing the latter to lose the puck to Pius Suter. Suter breaks it out to Adam Erne and they go on a 2-on-1 rush. Erne is patient, waits to see what’s open and RIFLES A SHOT PAST JONATHAN QUICK TO GIVE THE RED WINGS A 1-0 LEAD!!

Unfortunately, much like the Devils game on Saturday, their first lead wouldn’t last for long. An awkward aerial breakout pass for the Kings gets knocked down by Michael Rasmussen at center ice, but Alex Iafallo spins around and whacks it to Gabriel Vilardi. Vilardi then fires on that appears to deflect off the leg of Mo Seider and past Husso to tie this game up at 1-1 just 19 seconds later.

After the first TV timeout, the Red Wings finally get their first bit of sustained pressure, keeping the puck down in the LA end for a couple of minutes and getting their first shots of the game since the Erne goal. The Kings then begin to ramp the pressure up more and it seems like the Red Wings, who have been so physical in their first two games, are content to give LA space.

Neither team has any great scoring chances until Lucas Raymond picks up the first minor penalty of the game with a Tripping call at the 10:59 mark. The Kings aren’t able to get much going on their power play with just one shot fired the way of Husso. The Red Wings finally get their first real big stretch of dominance over the next few minutes with them getting the next five shots on goal, all within a 1:35 stretch.

However, it’s the Kings who strike next after a scrum off a faceoff leads to a rush down the ice. Anze Kopitar finds a streaking Adrian Kempe who shoots one past Husso to give the 2-1 lead with just 5:20 remaining in the first period.

The game ramps up a bit after this as both teams start firing a bit more towards the goal. Husso made a couple of really nice stops to keep the game at 2-1 and that’s how the period would end. However, with just 10 seconds remaining in the period, Brendan Lemieux picks up a minor penalty for roughing meaning the Red Wings will get a power play to start the second.

Shots on goal were 11-11 after one. However, it very much felt like the Kings were the better team and the Wings are gonna have to stop giving them so much space if they want to stay in this one.

2nd Period

The Red Wings start off the second period with a power play unit comprised of Dylan Larkin, Dominik Kubalik, David Perron, Oskar Sundqvist and Filip Hronek. They get a couple of shots but nothing threatens Quick. The Red Wings catch a break at the end of their power play as the puck came looping up the boards just as Lemieux comes out of the box. To every Wings’ fan’s enjoyment, Lemieux tripped over his own feet costing himself a breakaway.

We get treated to a bit of Soderblom magic as he makes a beautiful play on a bouncing puck in the neutral zone. He pops the puck up and juggles it over the shoulder of Durzi, who has no choice but to hook the giant Swede and give the Wings their second power play of the day. Funny note, if Soderblom wasn’t so tall, that may have been a high sticking of the puck on his second juggle.

The Red Wings get a prime scoring opportunity right off the bat as Larkin finds Kubalik back door with a wide-open net. However, Kubalik wasn’t able to get all of the shot and shoots it all the way across the net to hit a sprawling Quick who had no chance of saving the puck had it been shot short-side.

Another great chance finds Sundqvist in front of the net for a redirect, but it trickles just wide. A few shot attempts from the point, a couple of whiffs later, and the Red Wings power play comes up empty. The teams head into the first TV timeout of the second with the shots 6-4 in favor of Detroit.

A couple of minutes later, Perron fires a pass across to Kubalik who then tries to find Larkin in the slot. His pass gets blocked, but the block causes three Kings players to all come to one side of the ice, leaving Perron wide open in the left circle. Kubalik finds him with the pass and he FIRES ONE PAST QUICK AND TIES THIS GAME UP AT 2-2 WITH HIS SECOND OF THE SEASON!!!

Shortly after, there’s another great chance for the Red Wings and the puck ends up bouncing around in front. It ends up fluttering up and on top of the net. Shortly after, Perron picks up a holding penalty right in front of the Kings bench to give LA their second power play of the game.

After a quick initial chance, some solid defensive play plus a whiff at the point by Drew Doughty keeps the Kings from threatening with the man advantage. The two minutes expire without much of a chance. However, immediately after it ends, Trevor Moore takes the puck up the right side and finds a streaking Phillip Danault with a backhand sauce pass. Danault then slides it past Husso to give the Kings a 3-2 lead.

Less than two minutes later, Raymond tries to poke-check Quinton Byfield who goes down around the top of the circle. It initially looks like a weak call but means the Red Wings will likely spend nearly all of the final 2:03 of the second on their third penalty kill of the game.

I say likely, but it doesn’t end up being the case. Ben Chiarot gives Kevin Fiala a small shove after sending the puck down the ice. Fiala retaliates and gives him a much bigger shove back, and gets called for a roughing penalty, sending the game to 4-on-4 with 52.6 seconds remaining in the period.

Those last 52.6 seconds are spent moving the puck around with no chances to show for it. It’s 3-2 Kings heading into the final frame. Shots on goal were 12-12 for the period, making it 23-23 for the game. The Red Wings certainly looked better in that period and one might argue were the better team. However, they still trail with 20 minutes of regulation to go.

3rd Period

They’ve actually taken away one of the shots for the Kings, making shots 23-22 in favor of Detroit. The Red Wings power play amounts to nothing and neither team is able to get anything going offensively to start the period. The first shot isn’t registered until nearly four minutes into the final frame. This continues for a few more minutes as the teams head into the first timeout with just two shots apiece in seven minutes of hockey.

Shortly after play resumes, Soderblom gets his stick caught in between the feet of Kevin Fiala. It’s the third tripping penalty of the game for Detroit and sends LA to their fourth power play of the night. The Red Wings penalty kill continues it’s spectacular play and keeps the Kings from any consistent chances.

In fact, it’s the Red Wings who have the best chance with Dylan Larkin getting a breakaway with around 15 seconds remaining. He gets hooked by Brandt Clarke and, even though it could’ve been a penalty shot, ends up giving the Red Wings the power play shortly after Soderblom’s penalty expires. There’s a bit of a controversial call that stops the Red Wings from getting a scoring chance. The puck was blown dead as the officials determined the puck hit the rounded part of the glass inside the bench. No replay angle was given, but Perron was confident it hit outside the bench.

However, Perron would make up for it shortly after. He gets a feed in the left circle, waits until Sundqvist gets in front of Quick and ABSOLUTELY SNIPES QUICK WITH A GORGEOUS WRIST SHOT TO TIE THIS GAME AT 3-3!!! HIS SECOND OF THE GAME AND THE TEAM’S FIRST POWER-PLAY GOAL OF THE YEAR!!!

Unfortunately, that lead wouldn’t last long. Just two minutes later, the Kings would put a puck on net and Husso thought he had it covered up. However, the puck had come loose behind him in the crease and the first person to notice and get there was Kopitar, who poked it in to give the Kings a 4-3 lead with 6:44 remaining.

The next few minutes pass and the Red Wings just can’t get control of the play. Every time it looks like something might happen for them, it gets broken up. It’s getting close to time for Husso to be pulled, but the team just can’t get the puck down into their offensive zone to do so. The Kings nearly get the dagger as Arvidsson finds Moore but Husso comes up big.

Husso finally gets pulled but shortly after, Arvidsson gets fed the puck for a breakaway at an empty net to seal it. However, DYLAN LARKIN MAKES AN ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE PLAY CHASING HIM DOWN AND KNOCKING THE PUCK OFF HIS STICK WITHOUT TAKING HIM DOWN!! WHAT A PLAY FROM MY FUCKING CAPTAIN!!!!

The Wings are able to get the puck down into the zone and set up their offense. The puck comes over to Perron who feeds it to Sundqvist in front. Sundqvist makes a move AND SLIDES THE PUCK PAST QUICK!!! 4-4 TIE GAME WITH JUST 41 SECONDS REMAINING!!! WHAT A SEQUENCE TO END THIS GAME!!!

No one gets anything going in the final 49 seconds and this game is headed to overtime. Shots were 13-9 in favor of the Kings for a 35-32 lead heading into OT for the visitors.

Overtime

Overtime starts with a bit of back and forth with neither team generating anything. The Red Wings do get a shot that’s easily handled, but Quick passes the puck off nearly turning it over. However, this leads to a 2-on-1 rush with Danault and Moore. Danault tries to put a pass through to Moore, but the pass is blocked by Hronek, Unfortunately, the puck gets redirected toward the net and sneaks past a sprawling Husso.

A very unfortunate and anti-climactic ending following what was an insane final two minutes of regulation. Shots finish up at 36-33 LA with a 5-4 win in overtime heading the way of the visitors.

Final Thoughts

This team fought back a lot in this game. The ending showed just how much heart they have and seeing fight is always a great thing. However, this team couldn’t keep momentum. Each goal they scored was almost immediately followed by a Kings goal. It’s something they have struggled with badly in each of the last two games and is something they’ll need to fix.

Some positives, the team is still perfect on the penalty kill so far through three games. They looked really solid on all four Kings attempts with the extra man, limiting quality scoring chances. David Perron was also fantastic tonight, scoring two goals and setting up Sundqvist’s game-tying goal in the last minute. He led all skaters with three points and also tied with Dylan Larkin with 6 shots on goal tonight, leading all skaters.

Speaking of Larkin, no points tonight but created some quality chances. But he’ll be remembered for that play with the empty net tonight, and that’s a highlight we’ll likely see all year, even though it didn’t lead to a win. Overall, you can’t be too mad squeaking out a point tonight. However, you can’t help but feel like they should’ve come away with more after the last two minutes of regulation.