Even with an All-Star injury list, the Detroit Red Wings are finding ways to win games.
The Wings managed just 15 shots -- their fewest in nearly eight years -- against Los Angeles on Friday night, but put four of them behind All-Star goaltender Jonathan Quick to beat the Kings 4-3. Darren Helm scored with 1:13 left in regulation after Valtteri Filppula had tied the game with 4:02 remaining.
Helm, who has had to step in in the absence of players like Pavel Datsyuk and Todd Bertuzzi, drove past Drew Doughty to the net and slammed a perfect pass from Johan Franzen into the open left side of the net to break a 3-3 tie.
"I saw Mule give me a quick look and he knew I was going to the net," Helm said. "He made a great play tossing it over and I just wanted to get good wood on the puck."
The Kings earned a power play and pulled Quick in the final minute for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Joey MacDonald -- playing in place of starter Jimmy Howard -- robbed Jeff Carter with 15 seconds remaining and used his mask to stop a wide-open Mike Richards in the final 10 seconds to preserve the win. He finished with 21 saves.
The win gives the Wings 91 points, two behind St. Louis for the lead in the Central Division and the Western Conference. They begin a road trip at Nashville on Saturday.
'These are the nice ones," said Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg, who scored the Wings' first two goals. "We want to win these type of games, especially late in the year."
Added Helm: 'Just to keep pace with St. Louis. They've been winning; we've got to do the same thing.'
Los Angeles could have moved into the top eight in the West with a victory; instead, the Kings remained one point behind San Jose. They are 1-2-0 on a trip that ends Sunday in Chicago.
"You can’t take a step back," Richards said. "You have to move forward. As tough as it is, we just have to show some character in this dressing room, in terms of what we can do and how we’re going to move forward and hopefully get better."
Detroit, playing without a half-dozen injured regulars including All-Stars Datsyuk, Howard and defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom, had lost five of their last seven. On Friday, they were also without forwards Bertuzzi and Justin Abdelkader along with defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Jakub Kindl.
Los Angeles took three one-goal leads but couldn't keep the Wings from tying the game each time.
"When you keep shots down like that and you score three goals, you should win," coach Darryl Sutter said.
Carter opened the scoring with a power-play goal 7:29 into the game. Zetterberg tied it with a one-timer from the right circle at 14:40. But Justin Williams beat MacDonald just over three minutes later to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
Zetterberg tied it late in the second by converting a feed from Filppula for his second of the night -- his first multiple-goal game since last March 16. Zetterberg's goals came on two of the eight shots the Wings managed on Quick in the first 40 minutes.
"We didn't get as many shots as we wanted to," Filppula said. "They played really well. We couldn't get inside that much."
The Kings went ahead again with 5:54 remaining when Carter flipped a shot toward the net and rookie Dwight King' whacked the puck past MacDonald for a 3-2 lead. Filppula tied it less than two minutes later, flipping a high shot over Quick after a pass from rookie defenseman Brendan Smith, one of a half-dozen call-ups from the Wings' AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids.
"You have to give credit to the farm team," Zetterberg said. "When we need them, they're ready to play."
The inability by one of the NHL's top defensive teams to hold a late lead against an undermanned opponent left Richards shaking his head.
"We should have confidence playing with the lead, especially in the third period," he said. "I made a couple mistakes that I don’t usually make, and the pucks ended up in our net. It’s frustrating, to say the least. It’s something that we have to learn from and work through.
"We don’t have time to dwell on it now. We have to learn from it and correct it and move on and look forward to Sunday."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report