After uncharacteristic sloppy defensive play on Tuesday led the Detroit Red Wings to a loss to the Phoenix Coyotes, they bounced back on Thursday to notch a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings.
The Red Wings started off strong, killing a long Los Angeles five-on-three in the second half of the first period. Neither team allowed a goal in the frame but they made up for it in the remaining periods, scoring a combined ten goals.
Robert Lang opened the game’s scoring just 1:29 into the second period, cutting in from the right circle and faking around defenseman Aaron Miller before putting a shot past Kings netminder Mathieu Garon.
The Wings got a goal on a lucky bounce of their own at 6:48 of the period, also on the power play. Pavel Datsyuk attempted a cross-crease pass to Nicklas Lidstrom but the puck bounced off Miller’s skate and into the net.
Again, the Kings quickly tied it, scoring 1:45 later, when Mike Cammalleri put in the rebound of his own wraparound chance.
Detroit pulled back ahead with two Henrik Zetterberg goals just 52 seconds apart.
With 6:56 remaining in the period, Zetterberg scored a power play goal from the left circle on a blast to the top corner of the net.
With 6:04 remaining, Zetterberg scored again, this time spinning through the edge of the left circle before backhanding a shot past Garon.
Jason Labarbera replaced Garon in the Los Angeles goal but the Kings wouldn’t bounce back until the third period.
At 9:52 of the final frame, Vitali Vishnovsky scored on a one-timer from the high slot with the Kings on a five-on-three, pulling them to within one.
It wouldn’t be enough, as Jason Williams scored his second goal in twenty games to restore Detroit’s two goal lead with 6:19 remaining, tipping a rebound on the backhand between his legs and past Labarbera while facing away from the goal.
Tomas Holmstrom added an empty-net goal with 1:05 remaining and then, after the Kings took two penalties in frustration, Lidstrom added a 5-on-3 goal with 7 seconds left in the game.
Legace finsihed the game with 22 saves on 25 shots. Garon made 26 saves on 30 before he was replaced by Labarbera, who stopped 12 of the 14 shots he faced.
Detroit went three-for-nine on the power play while Los Angeles scored on two of their eight power play chances.
The Red Wings will be back in action on Saturday night when they host the retooled Chicago Blackhawks in the first game of a home-and-home series on back-to-back nights.