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Wings laugh last, beat LA Kings, 3-1

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings
LOS ANGELES -- Robert Lang scored twice in the third period and Kris Draper had a short-handed goal to lead the Red Wings to a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Detroit goalie Chris Osgood stopped 22 shots in his season debut. Dominik Hasek started the first four games.

Forward Sean Avery scored for Los Angeles in the last minute of the first period. Dan Cloutier stopped 24 shots.

Lang, who played his first 149 NHL games with the Kings between 1992 and 1996, put Detroit ahead 2-1 early in the third period while Alexander Frolov was serving a delay-of-game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. The goal came 5 seconds after Rob Blake returned from a tripping penalty.

Lang got the puck from Nicklas Lidstrom at the left of the crease, looked around like he was going to pass, then suddenly spun and whipped his first goal of the season between Cloutier's right foot and the post. It was only the third power-play goal this season for the Wings in their first 27 attempts.

Lang scored again on a breakaway with 3:58 left in the game, beating Cloutier low to the glove side after Avery coughed up the puck to Mikael Samuelsson near the red line.

Avery opened the scoring during a goalmouth scramble with 45 seconds left in the first, after Osgood stopped a slap shot by Aaron Miller but failed to control the rebound. Draper tied it at 9:44 of the second period while teammate Jason Williams was serving a hooking penalty.

Johan Franzen carried the puck into the Kings' zone and was leveled with a clean open-ice hit by Blake -- a split-second after getting the puck to Draper, who went in all alone on Cloutier and backhanded his 14th career short-handed goal through the goalie's legs.

The Kings were outshot 27-23. The Wings had averaged 34.3 shots through their first four games, compared with 17.0 by their opponents. Los Angeles came in averaging 34.4 shots.

Blake, whose 138 goals and 429 points with the Kings are the most by a defenseman in franchise history, has begun his second tour of duty in Los Angeles with no points in his first six games.

Game notes: Accompanying the Wings on their four-game road trip is Hall-of-Famer Scotty Bowman, who coached Detroit to three Stanley Cup titles and is now in his fifth season as a consultant with the team. ... Draper is one of eight players left from the Wings' last Stanley Cup championship team in 2002. ... The Kings were 0-for-8 on the power play and are 5-for-53 with the man advantage altogether. ... The Kings, whose 78.7 penalty-killing percentage last season was the worst in the league, have allowed seven goals in 38 short-handed situations this season.

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