Red Wings tease fans, make them think they’re going to win, then end up losing 3-2 to Kings in OT at 1 AM.

That was one heck of a late start for this game. 10:30 Eastern. It doesn’t get any later than that in this league, and in truth the game started closer to 10:40. But hey, at least it was a win! Oh wait. No, they kept us up late for overtime so we could see them lose. If you bailed and got some shut eye, here’s what you missed.

First Period

Puck drops, Larkin versus Kopitar. I love it. Detroit’s top line can hang with the best, so send Larks and co out there! The Kings got so physical that they’d already checked the net off the mooring 45 seconds in. The refs missed a pretty bad trip 2 minutes in and called Helm for slashing 15 seconds later.

The Kings had some serious zone time in the first half of their power play, but were really un-threatening the whole time. Wings got in a few good clears to keep the PK pretty simple.

The Wings finally gained some pressure in LA’s zone 5 minutes into the game, but LA would strike first in this game off the rush with Kopitar driving the slot to redirect an Iaffolo shot. Kopitar shouldn’t have been all alone in front of Bernier, but Green covered Iaffolo real loose and Larkin came in to support when he shouldn’t have and Mantha let Kopitar wander. Bad misplay to put the Wings in the hole, 1-0.

The Kings continued to control played and were rewarded with a delayed penalty against Detroit, which allowed them a dividend of 30ish seconds at 6-on-5 before the Wings got a hold on the puck. Possession for the Wings was real ugly, guys. Real ugly. Fortunately, I could show LA’s power play to my non-existent kids to put them to sleep.

Most exciting moment of the period definitely came when LA got Bernier twisted around off the face off and sent a pass behind him through the slot and Mike Green dove to save two shots from Jeff Carter.

And holy Toledo, with just a few minutes left Cholowski and Larkin nearly knotted the score with one of the quickest shot-passes to redirects I’ve seen in a long time, but Quick was there with the flash of the glove to make the save and keep the Wings trailing.

Annnnd that was kind of the period. If you went to bed after this one, good on you. You probably have important stuff to do on Friday, like repair a bumper car or something. For the rest of you, hang tight, I’m sure it will get better. It’s not like the Wings’ speed was completely neutralized in that period or anything.

Shots: 11-5 LA
Score: 1-0 LA
Stand Outs: The Penalty Kill

Second Period

The Wings came out guns blazing and the first minute of the second was better than all twenty of the first. Mantha nearly tied teh game 40 seconds into the period, but Kopitar swept away a loose puck before it could land on Manth’s stick. LA charged back with their own flurry as well, and now the game had some life to and (and thank Father Christmas; that first period was suuuch a snoozer.)

And then it got even better! Ben Hutton turned weirdly, in a Jonathan Ericsson kind of way, to gather up a wild puck, but Mantha got on his horse, gathered up the puck, and streaked down the boards. Bertuzzi came with to effectively create a 2-on-0 with three trailing Kings. Perfect feed from Mantha and Bertuzzi was able to roof it on Quick to make to a 1-1 Tie!

A minute later the duo nearly made it 2-1, but a bouncing puck wouldn’t allow Mantha to get the release he wanted. Shame, because the ice started to tilt for the Wings. Filppula even had a cool stick lift at one point and everything (I know that’s what all you Flip fans are here to see, anyway.)

The Kings got some pep back in their step after that, but while they racked up some shots, only a precious few were really good scoring chances, and Bernier stood tall against them all. LA seems to really like taking bombs from the point to create confusion, perhaps so their big bodies can muscle their opponents out of the way as they twist in confusion.

For half a second it looked like the Kings got the lead back, but Wagner just kind of did a cop-slide across the back of Bernier’s head inside the crease, making the Wings’ tender unable to make the save. No goal.

Detroit’s second line had a real great shift toward the end of the period where Filppula got not one, but two shots! Even Erne had a decent chance toward the end. With four seconds left Mantha got the puck on the blue line and broke out against Quick. He was tripped up and it probably should have been a penalty shot, but instead the Wings will have a power play to start the third period.

Shots: 24-12 LA
Score: 1-1 Tie
Stand Outs: Bernier, Mantha, Bertuzzi

Third Period

Well hey, good thing Detroit didn’t do anything with that power play or this game would be exciting.

No, instead the excitement was held until a minute after the power play. The top line went deep on the forecheck and Mantha poked the puck away from a king behind the net. Larkin collected the bobbling puck and centered it to Beruzzi in the slot, who just sort of pitched it over Quick’s shoulder as he came out to challenge Bert. 2-1 Red Wings!

The Wings really started to control the game once again until Fabbri got caught with a hold on Doughty. Back to the PK for Detroit. Once again they killed off the penalty without consequence.

Late in the game you start to see a lot of Larkin’s line and the Cholowski-Green pairing, which feels pretty good as a fan. Trusting your top players just feels better, especially when you are watching a bad team, to protect and extend the lead than it does when the coach sends a line of grinders over the boards every other shift.

The scoring effects created some white-knuckle moments in the last six minutes, but they weren’t actually getting any shots thanks to great defensive work by the wings. until they got one freaking shot off and got it past Bernier. Of course it was a point shot that rebounded out to Kempe with the extra attacker. 2-2 Tie.

The Wings were not happy, to say the least. They pushed hard, but this one is going to overtime. You thought you were going to bed? Well too bad.

Shots: 30-21 LA
Score: 2-2 Tie
Stand Outs: Bertuzzi


Larkin lost the opening draw to Kopitar, but they get another chance as the Kings’ first shot goes up in the netting. Second time around though Kopitar wins again, puck goes back to Doughty, who bounces the puck off the boards, Iaffolo ricochets the puck in to make it 3-2 Kings. Not a good way to end the game, especially so late in the night.

Wings play the Sharks same time Saturday, but hey, at least you don’t have work or school or whatever, unless you do.