The Kings stayed with the defending Stanley Cup champions throughout the majority of the game Friday night, but coach Terry Murray pointed his team's different performances between the first and second periods as an explanation for the 2-1 loss.
"The first period, I thought we did some good things…getting pucks to the net, we were not over-analyzing things and trying to make plays that were not there, we were keeping it pretty simple and that's the kind of game we needed to follow through with," Murray said after the game.
"And unfortunately, we made some plays through the middle of the ice as we get into the second period and gave a lot of momentum back to the Red Wings through turnovers."
After recording 14 shots in the first period, Los Angeles was limited to just four in the second period. Murray said that he and his squad expected changes from the Red Wings in the second period, but the real problem was the Kings' turnovers.
"We knew they were going to come out there, they're the Stanley Cup Champions and they're going to change things, make adjustments and come with an up-tempo style of a game. But I thought that even with that, knowing that, we still had the puck several times through the middle, and instead of just getting it in and continue with what we were doing in the first, we gave them the opportunity to transition and they came at us pretty hard."
The Kings battled back in the third, with Alexander Frolov scoring his team-leading 26th goal of the season after banging home his own rebound after a wrap-around. Former Red Wing Kyle Quincey and Michal Handzus picked up assists on the play. The Kings recorded 13 shots, but couldn't finish off a late flurry of opportunities.
KOPITAR SKATES FOR CHARITY
Kings assistant captain Anze Kopitar racked up 19:41 worth of ice time for coach Murray tonight and he's going to feel it in his wallet tomorrow.
Kopitar was one of 28 NHL players from 25 different teams that agreed to donate $100 for every minute of ice time they logged during a game this weekend. All of the donations will go to the international humanitarian organization Right To Play.
"It's obviously a good cause, and I was approached by the guys around the league basically… so in one way it's an honor for me to be selected, and like I said, it's definitely for a good cause and I liked to do it."
Kopitar will donate roughly $1900 in the name of his father Matjaz, who Kopitar listed as his honored coach/role model for which he would be donating on behalf of.
QUICK CONTINUES STELLAR PLAY
Goaltender Jonathan Quick got his first start of the season at Joe Louis Arena in December and he looked happy to be back between the pipes in Detroit on Friday. The 23-year-old made 38 saves, helping stall an explosive Red Wings attack while the Kings fought for a comeback.
Quick, however, said that the number of saves doesn't matter if his team doesn't come away with the victory.
"It was a good amount of saves, but at the end of the day it's still a loss, so...you just go back to the drawing board and you get ready for the next game."
Quick echoed his coach's statements about the changes from the first period to the second.
"We came out and we were going right back and forth with them in the first period. We battled with them hard, then they kind of took it to us a little bit in the second and the third was kind of a wash. They just ended up scoring one more goal than us and that was the difference obviously."
RED WINGS MISSING HOSSA
The Kings could breathe a bit easier Friday night, as the Wings were without their leading goal scorer in Marian Hossa. The Detroit forward, whose 34 goals ranks fifth in the NHL, was an injured scratch for the Red Wings Friday night. The 30-year-old was injured in the late stages of the Wings' game against San Jose on Wednesday when he collided with Doug Murray and Ryane Clowe. Hossa lost his helmet and exited to the locker room soon after, not appearing for the rest of the game. Hossa told reporters it is just a sore neck and that he doesn't think he has a concussion but he may miss the Wings' game tomorrow in Nashville as well.
Filling in on the second line during Hossa's absence was Ville Leino, skating on the wing with Valtteri Filppula and Johan Franzen. Leino, who was signed by the Red Wings as a free agent out of Finland last May, had five goals and three assists in 11 games with the Wings coming into Friday. Leino continued his point production on Friday, setting up the game's first goal.
Forward Raitis Ivanans left the game five minutes into the second period after taking an open ice hit. Detroit forward Kris Draper came charging across the ice and caught Ivanans high with a shoulder just in front of the Los Angeles bench. Ivanans looked momentarily lost on the ice and skated gingerly to the Kings' bench. After sitting on the bench, the Kings' medical staff took him to the locker room and it was announced in the third period that he would not be returning to the game.
OS-GOOD IN RETURN
Goaltender Chris Osgood made his first start since a 10-day hiatus Friday and he looked like he had never left. Osgood held an 18-5-7 record coming into Friday's game, but he was still earning criticism in Detroit. Osgood had posted a 3.29 GAA, and a .879 SV%, which meant that some were calling for back-up goaltender Ty Conklin to take over the starting job. Conklin, who signed with the Wings over the summer, has a 22-7-1 record, with a 2.28 GAA and a .918 SV%. Coach Mike Babcock gave Osgood some time off to re-focus and he looked good in his first start back, making 30 saves in the Detroit win.
MONARCHS FALL, 2-1 IN SHOOTOUT
Justin Azevedo scored on a rebound and Daniel Taylor (7-2-1) took his first shootout loss of the season with 23 saves in regulation and 4-of-5 in the shootout. Matt Zaba (16-8-0) picked up his 16th win of the season stopping 28-of-29 shots in regulation and all five in the shootout...more
HOLLOWAY STAYS HOT
Kings prospect Bud Holloway scored two goals as the Reign lost at Phoenix, 6-4. Holloway extended his point streak to 6 games (7g, 2a)...more.
LUC TO 'READ ACROSS AMERICA'
Southern California schools will join a nationwide celebration of reading on Monday as they host celebrities, parents, city officials and others at events statewide for the National Education Association’s 12th annual “Read Across America” extravaganza. 9:30 a.m. CTA Secretary-Treasurer Dan Vaughn will be joined by actor Jason George and hockey legend Luc Robitaille in reading children’s books to students at Dolores Huerta Elementary....more
Compiled by reports from Michael Caples and LAKings.com.