game. They scored twice on the Minnesota Wild in the third period to
send the game into overtime, where Brett Lebda converted a spellbounding Henrik Zetterberg
pass for the winner. And in Boston, the Red Wings
bottled up the Bruins in the third period to pull out a victory.
But on Thursday, the joke was on the Red Wings.
This time its opponent delivered the late-round knockout — and then kept
punching — as Los Angeles scored four unanswered goals in the third
period en route to a 5-3 win.
Fans didn’t even to have time to enjoy the mullets and “name that tune”
on 80s night at the Joe. Once the third period horn sounded, the Kings
scored once every three and a half minutes. Patrick O’Sullivan brought
the Kings within a goal 39 seconds into the final frame. Alexander
Frolov tied the score at 6:15. Brad Stuart
at 13:07, and Anze Kopitar
threw one last doozy at 14:39.
To make it worse, the Kings had only scored three goals total in the
three previous meetings between the teams this season.
“We probably got what we deserved,” Red Wings coach Mike Babock said.
“We were up 3-1, and we hadn’t been very good all night. After a while,
winning starts to catch up to you. And I thought that was evident in our
last couple of wins. And then, I thought today the team that worked the
hardest and competed the longest won the game.”
The loss snapped the Wings' eight-game winning streak before a stunned
crowd at Joe Louis Arena. A ninth victory would have tied a franchise
record, already matched once this season in November.
.“This team doesn’t usually let things like that slide, but tonight we
obviously did,” Red Wings forward Dan Cleary said.
Both Frolov and Kopitar’s tallies broke a Red Wings’ penalty kill. Chris
Osgood allowed the four goals on just nine shots in the third period.
Previously, Detroit had only lost twice when leading after two periods,
and Los Angeles had won just twice.
“They were fortunate to be where they were,” Kings coach Marc Crawford
said. “For a team that’s a last-place team to face that kind of
adversity and keep with the game plan, I thought it was terrific.”
Through two periods, it looked like Zetterberg was going to steal the
spotlight for the second consecutive game. Less than a minute into the
second period, his shot from an impossible angle found space right under
goaltender Jason Labarbera’s armpit to break a 1-1 tie.
His second goal was just as spectacular, putting the Wings up 3-1 in the
Zetterberg galloped down the left wing, but found no play in front.
Taking his time, he curled around the net, sniffing a wraparound
opportunity. It didn’t fool Labarbra — who had his skate glued to the
left post — or so he thought. Zetterberg squeezed the puck through the
few inches that remained.
The teams traded goals in the first period. Tomas Kopecky put the Wings
up 49 seconds into the game when he tapped Mikael Samuelsson’s shot into
an open net. Former Wings left wing Kyle Calder tied the game at 1-1 at