HAMBURG, Germany -- The Los Angeles Kings wanted a good tune-up for the regular season when they played the Hamburg Freezers on Tuesday here at O2 World Arena in their final preseason game.
The home team certainly obliged as it erased two one-goal deficits -- and even took a lead -- before losing the momentum and dropping a 5-4 decision that entertained a loud and partisan crowd here.
The game also was notable for the season debut of Drew Doughty, who signed a long-term deal with the club just before it left for Europe. Doughty, one of eight defensemen to play for the Kings, looked strong in his first game action.
"I'm ready to go," Doughty said after the game. "I can't wait for the start of the season. That is the game we all look forward to since the start of the summer.
"It wasn't too difficult for me to get in the flow. I worked hard in practice and during the summer to be ready for this."
Brad Richardson scored the go-ahead goal with just 16 seconds left in the second period, backhanding a rebound past Hamburg goalie John Curry, a former Penguins prospect.
Ethan Moreau added what proved to be the winning goal early in the third period on another rebound opportunity. Moreau's goal became important when Christoph Schubert, one of many former NHL players skating for Hamburg, scored a goal in the last minute.
The Kings left for Sweden right after the game to prepare for their regular-season opener Friday in Stockholm against the New York Rangers (1 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN).
It was a perfect start for the Kings, who took a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the game when Hamburg goalie John Curry was handcuffed by Justin Williams' seemingly harmless wrist shot from the right circle just 36 seconds into the game.
After carrying the play for close to five minutes, the Freezers were rewarded with a power-play goal that tied the game at 1-1. Serge Aubin, who played 374 NHL games for Columbus, Colorado and Atlanta, beat Jonathan Quick with a shot from the slot with 7:09 left for his first of two goals in the game.
On the next shift after Aubin's goal, Alec Martinez restored the lead for the Kings, snapping home a feed from Dustin Brown, who used the wider, Olympic-size ice here to give himself some separation.
However, with a little more than two minutes remaining in the period, Kevin Schmidt pinched in from the point and received a perfect pass, which he fired over Quick's shoulder to tie the game at 2-2 heading into intermission.
The Kings failed on a pair of power plays in the first half of the second period and then watched as Hamburg scored on the counterattack to take a 3-2 lead midway through. The Kings' power play was ineffective throughout the game and has to be a concern as the team prepares to open the regular season.
The Freezers went ahead when Aubin scored on his own rebound for his second of game after Quick had made two initial saves on the sequence.
"We didn't have our intensity there at the end of the first and at the start of the second and we paid for it a bit there," Brown told NHL.com. "I don't know if it was the bigger ice or what it was."
But as was the case in the first period, Hamburg couldn't hold a lead as the Kings stormed back and got a goal from Anze Kopitar after passes from Williams and Scott Parse, who is in a dogfight to make this team.
Quick was pulled after the second of Aubin's goals in a pre-planned move as Kings coach Terry Murray put in Jonathan Bernier for the second half of the game. Bernier allowed just the goal by Schubert.
After the game Friday against the Rangers, the Kings play the Buffalo Sabres in Berlin on Saturday, in another Premiere game, before returning to the United States.
"We have had a pretty long preseason and a pretty heavy workload here for the past three weeks," said Brown. "It's been too long. Guys want to play in a real game. Preseason is exactly that -- preseason. Now we are ready to jack up the intensity and play a real game where every little detail counts."