For the majority of the third period, it looked like the Kings were going to upset the defending Stanley Cup champions. But the Red Wings found the back of the net three times in the last 3:53 to cap off a 6-4 comeback win.
After taking a 4-3 lead two minutes into the second on captain Dustin Brown’s 13th goal, the Kings looked like they had an upset over the Red Wings wrapped up. But Jiri Hudler scored with just under four minutes remaining, and Dan Cleary with roughly 90 seconds remaining to give Detroit the lead. Kris Draper added an empty-net goal to ice the game with 24 seconds remaining.
The late-game loss came as quite the blow to the Kings, who dropped a 6-0 road loss to Buffalo last night.
Brown said that losing out on much-needed points at this point in the season is what stings the most for his team.
“It’s disappointing, especially at this time of the year,” the Kings’ captain said. “It’s all about getting two points, and I think we were three minutes away, and we ended up falling apart and not even getting one point out of it, which is a real big disappointment. Its unacceptable to blow a lead like that, let alone to lose a game in regulation, not even one point. To walk out of here with one point, that’s one point we need.”
Brown pointed to the fact that this wasn’t the first time the Kings fell victim to the Wings late in a game. On Oct. 27, the Kings lost 4-3 to the Red Wings in a shootout at the STAPLES Center.
“Obviously, we had a one-goal lead against them last time and ended up blowing it the same way,” Brown said. “It’s a matter of us just bearing down and learning how to win games, and that’s something we need to learn pretty quickly.”
QUICK STARTS IN NET
Goaltender Jonathan Quick made his first start of the season after appearing in the last 17 minutes of the Buffalo game last night. Starting in front of the Joe Louis Arena crowd didn’t bother Quick, who played well for the Kings, despite the loss.
Quick made 30 saves against one of the best offenses in the game, keeping the Kings in the game until late.
The second-year goaltender said that the Kings played well both games, just weren’t on the right end of the lucky side of the game.
“I thought we played well last night, just didn’t get the bounces,” the young goaltender said. “Again, we worked really hard, had some good scoring chances…played well tonight as well - just ended up on the short end of the stick both times.”
Quick said allowing six goals in back-to-back games shouldn’t bother the team, because it’s the way the new NHL is progressing.
“That’s the nature of the game. You’re not going to post one goal two goal games night in and night out, for sure all the goalies wish they could, but there’s some good scorers out there and they’re going to capitalize on their opportunities.”
LINE CHANGE WORKS
Coach Terry Murray mixed up the lines a bit on Saturday, looking to spark the team’s offense. Trevor Lewis, in just his second game in the NHL, moved up to right wing on the team’s top line, with stars Anze Kopitar and Patrick O’Sullivan. Right wing Teddy Purcell moved down to the middle of the fourth line, between Raitis Ivanans and John Zeiler.
And the move worked for Lewis. The young forward from Salt Lake City scored his first career NHL goal to give his team the all-important first goal of the contest just 1:46 into the first period. Fielding an errant redirect pass from the Wings’ Marian Hossa, Lewis grabbed the puck in the Detroit slot and fired it towards the goal. With a little help from Brian Rafalski’s body, the puck found the back of the net, and Los Angeles was first on the scoreboard.