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Early scoring burst powers Red Wings past Kings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings struggled to score goals in general and on the power play in particular … until Friday.

Detroit scored four goals in less than 10 minutes of the first period, leading to a 5-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings scored two power-play goals to give them five for the season.

"That was good, big for our power play," said Gustav Nyquist, who scored each of the power-play goals in the first period. "I think it's been getting better and better, and today we converted on the first two opportunities there, so that was good."

Nyquist also had an assist, and Pavel Datsyuk had two goals and one assist. Tomas Tatar scored for Detroit, which is 8-2-0 in its past 10 games against the Kings.

Niklas Kronwall and Henrik Zetterberg each had two assists, and Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for the Red Wings (6-2-2).

"We did a good job at the beginning," Howard said. "We knew they played last night (a 3-0 loss at the Pittsburgh Penguins), so we figured if we jumped on them early and had some success it would be the best recipe for us."

Alec Martinez and Tyler Toffoli scored for Los Angeles (6-3-2), which has lost three straight. Jonathan Quick stopped 30 shots.

"We just have to find a way to come out strong in the first period. Not necessarily score goals but play our game," Toffoli said. "I don't think we were prepared to play and do the things necessary to win."

Toffoli made it 4-2 with a shorthanded goal 1:48 into the third period. He put in the rebound of Mike Richards' shot for his sixth goal of the season.

Datsyuk scored an empty-net goal for his fourth of the season.

Howard stopped Kings captain Dustin Brown on a penalty shot 2:29 into the third, also with Los Angeles shorthanded. Danny DeKeyser tripped Brown on a breakaway.

"The ice wasn't the best there in the third," Howard said. "I think with all the rain today it was a bit humid tonight, so it probably wasn't the best ice for him to do a move, so I just stayed patient.

"I told myself, 'This could be the game,' so I had to come up with a save."

Detroit led 4-0 after the first 15:28.

At 18:08, a pane of glass was broken and the officials sent the teams to their dressing rooms for the first intermission; the remainder of the first period was completed and the second period started right away afterward.

Nyquist opened the scoring at 5:51. He put in a one-timer from the slot off a touch pass from Zetterberg for a power-play goal.

Datsyuk made it 2-0 at 9:42. After stealing the puck from Dwight King in the Kings zone, Datsyuk's attempted pass from the left circle deflected in off Los Angeles defenseman Jake Muzzin.

Nyquist scored his seventh goal at 11:44 when he slammed in the rebound of Kronwall's shot from the point that bounced off the boards behind the net.

It gave the Red Wings a goal on three consecutive power-play chances. They scored on their final try with the extra man in a 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

Tatar increased the lead to 4-0 with 4:32 remaining in the period when he scored on a one-timer from Quick's left off a pass from behind the net by Nyquist.

"We got off to a real good start. Obviously, the power play was magic. Guys really were skating," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "... The schedule favored us tonight. We were able to jump on them early."

Martinez, who is from the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, Mich., scored with 9:19 left in the second period to make it 4-1. After Howard appeared to have the puck frozen, it popped out, and Martinez slid in a backhand from Howard's right for his first goal.

"The bottom line is, we've played three games in four nights, they're sitting here waiting and they've got defensemen who can move the puck," Kings coach Darryl Sutter said. "That's what's going to happen."

Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey left the game in the first period with an ankle injury and didn't return. Babcock said the Red Wings would know more Saturday.

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