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game recap

Wings cruise to sixth straight road win

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:06 AM

NHL.com

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Wings cruise to sixth straight road win
Detroit Red Wings 7, Los Angeles Kings 4
There's something about being on the road that brings out the best in the Detroit Red Wings.

Drew Miller scored twice, Darren Helm added a shorthanded goal in the third period, and the Wings rolled to their sixth straight road victory, 7-4 against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night at the Staples Center.

Pavel Datsyuk, Danny Cleary, Jiri Hudler and captain Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for the Red Wings, who pulled within three points of Western Conference-leading Vancouver with their second straight road win after back-to-back home losses.

"I have no idea," Helm responded when asked what the key has been to Detroit's success on the road. "We're finding ways to win on the road. Tonight, I think we just played a solid road game. I wish we could do the same at home, but right now we're happy to be on the road. That's where we're having a lot of success."

Jimmy Howard made 32 saves as the Red Wings pulled away with seven consecutive goals, including three in the first period. The victory came just hours after Howard signed a two-year extension with the club. The new deal will pay Howard $2.25 million per season.

"It's good … it's where I want to be," Howard said. "It's a great organization and I've got a lot of great friends in the room. It's a great situation."

Michal Handzus scored in the opening minutes for the Kings, who didn't score again until captain Dustin Brown's goal cut Detroit's lead to five goals with 7:34 to play.

A few hours after acquiring goal-scoring forward Dustin Penner in a trade with Edmonton, the Kings put on their worst performance in over a month.

Wayne Simmonds and Brad Richardson scored in the final 65 seconds for the Kings, but Jonathan Quick gave up six goals on 23 shots before getting pulled with 14 minutes left. The flop was a surprise for Los Angeles, which had lost in regulation just once since Jan. 20 while winning 11 of its past 15.

"Sometimes when you have a lead like that, you find yourself playing kind of complacent," Helm said. "I think that's what we did tonight. We were up and just kind of sat back. They were able to put a couple of nice goals together."

The Kings still haven't lost by more than three goals all season, but they struggled mightily against one of the four teams ahead of them in the conference standings.

The Red Wings got a measure of revenge for a 5-0 home loss to Los Angeles on Dec. 13, their fourth straight loss to the Kings. They also did it without leading goal-scorer Johan Franzen, who's home with his wife for the expected birth of their first child.

Detroit began its final lengthy road trip of the season in Buffalo on Saturday, and will visit all three California teams before wrapping up in Phoenix. With their usual cheering sections behind them at every stop, the Wings haven't lost on the road since Feb. 5.

"That's a good hockey club," Kings coach Terry Murray said of Detroit. "They're on a tough trip right now. They're going to be very busy, and they're coming to play. That's a veteran team that knows how to do things right at a critical time of the year. They scored goals at the right time and gave us a real lesson in how to come and be ready."

The Kings scored just 4:09 into the first period when Handzus corralled a rebound off the back boards and flipped it over Howard's pad during a power play, but the Red Wings quickly took charge.

After Miller scored his first goal in three weeks on a stoppable shot, Cleary followed 30 seconds later with an artful deflection in front for his 22nd goal. Lidstrom scored a power-play goal late in the period.

"We just rolled four lines from start to finish and we were able to get a win, so that's important," Wings coach Mike Babcock said.

Los Angeles generated 25 shots in the first two periods, but couldn't connect. Detroit went up 4-1 with 41.2 seconds left in the second period when Datsyuk collected a puck at the blue line, skated in unimpeded and fired an expertly placed shot over Quick's glove for his 19th goal.

Helm scored after Drew Doughty failed to control a puck at the point during a power play, delighting the sizable contingent of Red Wings fans and sending many Kings fans to the exits with 18 minutes left.

After Miller and Hudler put the Wings up 7-1, Brown finally answered for the Kings to sarcastic cheers from the crowd.

"Every mistake, they're going to score," Handzus said of the Wings. "We made mistakes that we shouldn't have. It's our mental errors. I think we need to clean that up a little bit. Mistakes against great teams, they're going to cost you."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
scoring summary
1st Period
04:09
LAK
PPG - Michal Handzus (9) Wrist shot - ASST: Jarret Stoll (20), Anze Kopitar (41)
1 - 0 LAK
06:37
DET
Drew Miller (5) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
1 - 1 Tie
07:07
DET
Daniel Cleary (22) Tip-in - ASST: Jiri Hudler (24)
2 - 1 DET
18:48
DET
PPG - Nicklas Lidstrom (13) Slapshot - ASST: Mike Modano (7), Henrik Zetterberg (50)
3 - 1 DET
2nd Period
19:18
DET
PPG - Pavel Datsyuk (19) Snap shot - ASST: Henrik Zetterberg (51), Niklas Kronwall (20)
4 - 1 DET
3rd Period
02:01
DET
SHG - Darren Helm (8) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
5 - 1 DET
05:53
DET
Drew Miller (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Kris Draper (3), Darren Helm (18)
6 - 1 DET
10:22
DET
Jiri Hudler (8) Slapshot - ASST: Jakub Kindl (2), Todd Bertuzzi (23)
7 - 1 DET
12:26
LAK
Dustin Brown (21) Wrist shot - ASST: Anze Kopitar (42), Brad Richardson (9)
7 - 2 DET
18:55
LAK
Wayne Simmonds (12) Tip-in - ASST: Alexei Ponikarovsky (5), Drew Doughty (24)
7 - 3 DET
19:39
LAK
Brad Richardson (7) Tip-in - ASST: Matt Greene (7)
7 - 4 DET
penalty summary
1st Period
03:17
DET
Darren Helm  Hooking against  Trevor Lewis
14:33
LAK
Matt Greene  Hi-sticking against  Tomas Holmstrom
17:44
LAK
Jarret Stoll  Hi-sticking against  Valtteri Filppula
2nd Period
03:23
DET
Jiri Hudler  Interference against  Anze Kopitar
14:58
DET
Ruslan Salei  Holding against  Wayne Simmonds
18:33
LAK
Jarret Stoll  Hooking against  Pavel Datsyuk
3rd Period
00:15
DET
Jiri Hudler  Hooking against  Dustin Brown
08:15
LAK
Kyle Clifford  Tripping against  Jakub Kindl
goalie stats
Jimmy Howard
SA: 39TOI: 60:00
Saves: 35EV: 26 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 9
SV%: .897SH: 1 - 1
Jonathan Quick
SA: 24TOI: 45:22
Saves: 18EV: 15 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 4
SV%: .750SH: 1 - 2
Jonathan Bernier
SA: 3TOI: 14:07
Saves: 2EV: 1 - 2
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: .667SH: 0 - 0