(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Kings will be glad to leave Pennsylvania
behind when they continue their five-game road trip in Friday’s meeting with
the Detroit Red Wings.
The Kings have dropped the first two tilts on their swing, losing a 3-2
overtime decision Tuesday in Philadelphia before falling to Pittsburgh 3-0 on
Thursday. The reigning Stanley Cup champions had won six straight before
suffering the recent defeats in the Keystone State.
Los Angeles also had an eight-game point streak snapped in the Steel City,
suffering its first regulation loss since opening the season with a 4-0 home
setback against San Jose.
The Kings fell behind 2-0 in the first period of Thursday’s game and never
recovered. Pittsburgh recorded a pair of power-play tallies in the first and
went 2-for-6 with the man advantage. Marc-Andre Fleury also stopped 36 shots
for the shutout victory.
“We took way too many penalties and they’re the best power play in the
league,” Kings forward Dustin Brown said. “That was the story of the game.”
Martin Jones made 20 stops in defeat for the Kings, who played once again
without star centerman Anze Kopitar.
Kopitar has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury and is
questionable for tonight along with fellow forwards Marian Gaborik and Trevor
Lewis, who are both dealing with upper-body injuries. The Kings also continue
to be without defenseman Slava Voynov, who is suspended indefinitely by the
league after being arrested earlier this month on domestic violence charges.
L.A. was able to use its emergency-roster exemption to recall winger David Van
der Gulik for Thursday’s game after playing with just 11 forwards in
The Kings will return to No. 1 goaltender Jonathan Quick in net tonight, but
Quick is just 6-12-1 with a 3.06 goals against average in his career against
Detroit is at Joe Louis Arena for just one game before playing its next three
on the road. The Wings are 3-1-1 as the host and have won their last two in
the Motor City.
The Red Wings also have won three straight versus L.A. and have claimed four
of five and seven of the last nine encounters in this series. The Kings have
lost five straight in Motown since picking up their last win at the Joe on
March 9, 2011.
The Red Wings boast a 4-1-1 record over their last six games and are coming
off Wednesday’s 4-2 road victory over Washington.
Detroit used a third-period comeback to down the Capitals at Verizon Center
and improve to 5-2-2 on the young season. The Wings trailed 2-1 at the end of
40 minutes before scoring three unanswered goals in the third period,
including two from Justin Abdelkader.
Abdelkader knotted the score at the 4:04 mark of the third and then gave
Detroit a 3-2 lead midway through the stanza. He also added an assist for a
The two-goal performance gave Abdelkader five markers on the season, tying him
with Gustav Nyquist for the team lead. Nyquist also scored on Wednesday, as he
opened the scoring by tallying off a feed from Abdelkader.
Pavel Datsyuk added a power-play tally late in the third to account for the
final margin, while Henrik Zetterberg notched two assists. Jimmy Howard
stopped 25-of-27 shots for the win, improving to 4-1-2 on the season.
“We showed some good character there falling behind in the second period and
then coming out and playing extremely well in the third,” said Howard.
“They’re world class players and they work well together; they’ve done it for
years. It’s nice to see them team up here tonight for a couple [goals].”
Howard is expected to start tonight and he boasts a 9-6-0 record and 2.40 GAA
in 15 career tests against L.A.