The Detroit Red Wings rallied to avoid a second straight loss on their six-game road trip, but may find things to be much easier against their next opponent.
The Red Wings (30-7-6) will try for their 10th win in their last 11 games at the Staples Center on Thursday when they meet the Los Angeles Kings (17-19-6).
Detroit, which has won seven of its last eight, also comes into Thursday's game having won 18 of its last 20 games versus the Kings dating to Feb. 24, 2003. The Red Wings have taken both meetings this season, including a 4-3 shootout victory Oct. 27 in Los Angeles.
Trailing by a goal with less than 11 minutes left Wednesday, Detroit scored twice in 35 seconds en route to a 4-3 victory in Anaheim.
"I thought we started good, but we got too soft. There's no excuse of this team to play like that," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, whose team blew a one-goal lead in Monday's 5-4 overtime loss in Dallas. "If you want the puck more than the other guy and you're harder on the puck, you have a chance to win. And that's how simple tonight's game came down to."
After consecutive starts by Chris Osgood, Detroit is expected to put Ty Conklin on the ice Thursday. Conklin, who is 7-1-1 with three shutouts in his last nine starts, has won four of five starts against the Kings, including a 6-4 home victory on Dec. 20.
The Kings suffered their sixth loss in their last eight home games, a 3-1 defeat Monday to Tampa Bay, but it hurt on more than just the scoreboard.
Los Angeles' top rookie, defenseman Drew Doughty, suffered a hard hit in the second period from the Lightning's Evgeny Artyukhin and left the game with a bruised thigh. Doughty's status is not known for Thursday.
The hit failed to spark the Kings, who could muster only Peter Harrold's goal with less than two minutes left in the period.
"That's a response that players need to take in their own hands right away - through hard play and just doing the right stuff, getting the puck into the offensive zone, physically playing hard and competing harder" said Los Angeles coach Terry Murray, who closed the locker room for 15 minutes after the loss. "That's something that this team, I think, should know. But we don't. Now we have to go through that process and learn something out of that hit on Doughty."
In dropping three of their last four, the Kings have struggled on end sides of the ice, scoring seven goals in that time and allowing 14.