The Kings were a bounce away from repeating another instance of late-game magic, but fell short in their 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.
Trips to Detroit haven’t been too kind to the Kings in recent years; Friday marked the club’s seventh-straight loss at Joe Louis, dating back to March 9, 2011, where they’ve gone 0-6-1 since.
Jhonas Enroth suffered his first loss in a Kings uniform, stopping 26 of the 29 shots he faced in his fourth start of the season.
Tomas Tatar got the Red Wings on the board with just over five minutes left to play in the first when he buried a nifty Justin Abdelkader pass past Jhonas Enroth to give Detroit a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes after Tatar’s opening goal, Jeff Carter struck while the Kings were killing off their second penalty of the evening to tie the game 1-1, scoring his eighth goal of the season.
Alec Martinez attempted to clear the Kings zone following a faceoff in the Kings’ zone, which Kopitar intercepted along the sideboards, then with a quick look up, found Carter streaking through the neutral zone. Upon receiving Kopitar’s pass, Carter walked in alone on Detroit’s Petr Mrazek, and beat the Red Wings’ goaltender with a move to his backhand.
In the second, Detroit scored a pair of goals in a 2:23 minute span to take a 3-1 lead.
Jeff Carter scored his second goal of the evening, bringing the Kings back to within one midway through the second.
Carter received a cross-ice pass from Tyler Toffoli in the neutral zone, and skated in one-on-one with Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall. With a favorable gap, Carter used Kronwall as a screen, firing a wrist-shot that ricochet off the glove of Mrazek and into the net.
The Kings, even with a ferocious attack in the final minute of regulation, couldn’t find a third goal, losing for the first time in four games.
Jeff Carter (2G) led all Kings players in points scored (2), Jeff Carter in shots taken (7), Milan Lucic and Trevor Lewis in hits delivered (4), Alec Martinez in shots blocked (2), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (25:58). Jhonas Enroth made 26 saves in the loss.
The Kings will continue their five-game road trip Sunday afternoon when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at the PNC Arena, with the puck scheduled to drop just after 10:00 AM PST.