Kings-Red Wings Preview
GAME: Los Angeles Kings (10-5-0) at Detroit Red Wings (13-2-1).
TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The last time they met the Los Angeles Kings, the Detroit Red Wings kicked off a nine-game winning streak.
The Red Wings began their October run of victories on the West Coast, but this time they are trying to avoid a third straight home loss when the Kings visit Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit followed its first loss of the season with a 5-2 win at Los Angeles on Oct. 13, and did not lose again until a 4-3 overtime defeat to visiting Edmonton last Thursday. Phoenix followed the Oilers into Detroit and won 4-1 on Saturday, with former Red Wings netminder Curtis Joseph stopping 36 shots.
The Red Wings avoided a third consecutive defeat with a 4-1 win at St. Louis on Sunday.
Tomas Holmstrom scored two goals and assisted on another. After going 10 games without finding the back of the net, Holmstrom has five goals in Detroit's last three games.
"He's got a little magic going right now," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
Center Pavel Datsyuk hasn't scored a goal in six games, but does have four goals and 12 assists in a nine-game points streak.
Los Angeles is 0-5-1-1 at Joe Louis Arena since Feb. 18, 2000, and is winless in its last eight games overall (0-6-1-1) against the Red Wings since a 3-2 victory on Oct. 12, 2002.
The Kings are coming off their first ever shootout on Saturday. They erased a 2-0 deficit with two third-period goals before claiming a 3-2 win over Nashville.
"Everybody that was in this building got treated to an unbelievable hockey game," Kings center Jeremy Roenick said. "Whoever saw their first game today is going to be addicted."
Jason LaBarbera, who has inched past fellow rookie Mathieu Garon as the Kings' No. 1 goaltender, improved his record to 8-2-0 by stopping both shootout attempts he faced. He also made a stick save on a penalty shot by Nashville's Dave Legwand with 31 seconds left in overtime.
Lubomir Visnovsky leads all defenseman with six goals and his 18 points tie him with Toronto's Bryan McCabe for most by a defender. Visnovsky had a career-high eight goals in 58 games in the 2003-04 season.
Roenick is looking for his first non-shootout goal since tallying against the Red Wings on Oct. 13.
STANDINGS (through Nov. 8): Kings - 20 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Red Wings - 27 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Pavol Demitra, 8 goals; Visnovsky, 12 assists; Demitra and Visnovsky, 18 points; Sean Avery, 51 PIM. Red Wings - Brendan Shanahan, 9 goals; Jason Williams, 14 assists; Datsyuk, 20 points; Chris Chelios, 54 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 8): Kings - Power play: 15.7 percent (15 for 95), 21st in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (83 for 98), 7th. Red Wings - Power play: 26.2 percent (27 for 103), 1st in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.8 percent (87 for 99), 2nd (tied).
GOALTENDERS: Kings - LaBarbera (8-2-0, 0 SO, 2.17 GAA); Garon (2-3-0, 0, 3.24). Red Wings - Chris Osgood (3-1-1, 0, 2.33); Jimmy Howard (no record).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Oct. 13; Red Wings, 5-2. At Los Angeles, the Red Wings scored three unanswered goals in the final five minutes of regulation to break a 2-2 tie and claim their first of nine straight wins.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 3-2-0 on the road; Red Wings - 6-2-1 at home.