It took most of a five minute overtime to decide it, but the Los Angeles Kings were able to get by the Red Wings, 3-2.
The Wings took the first power play of the game. Ziggy Palffy, who had missed the Kings’ previous four games with back spasms, was called for tripping. Detroit’s power play got off to a slow start. They did manage to settle it down and take a few shots against goalie Felix Potvin before the power play’s end, but Potvin was able to block each time.
Detroit got another power play opportunity with 11:05 left in the first period when Steve Heinze was sent to the box for interference. This time, the Kings decided to put their penalty kill on the offensive, and managed a three-on-one rush, but Dominek Hasek was able to stop the puck in time.
Just five seconds after the penalty ended, before Heinze had much of a chance to get back in the play, Detroit scored. Freddy Olausson took a blue line pass from Nicklas Lidstrom, and fired from the right side. The shot managed to go between Darren McCarty’s legs, off Igor Larionov’s shin pads, and behind Potvin for a goal.
The score remained 1-0 through the second period, despite two power plays for the Kings and one for the Red Wings.
LA got on the board 3:41 into the third period. Eric Belanger took a pass from Ian Lapierre, and managed to fake out Pavel Datsyuk to get up to the net and flip the puck high over Hasek’s shoulder.
The Kings took the lead with just over nine minutes left in the third. The Red Wings’ old adversary Adam Deadmarsh managed to score by banking in Jason Allison’s shot from behind the net.
Chris Chelios tied up the game with 5:33 left to play. Steve Duchesne carried the puck into the offensive zone, the spun around and passed back to Chelios at the blue line. Chelios let go a hard one-timer, and scored his first goal in eighty-five games.
With only thirty-six seconds left in the play, Kris Draper took a boarding penalty, and was sent to the box. The Red Wings played a tight defense, and kept the Kings from scoring before the overtime.
The Kings started the overtime with 1:24 of leftover penalty, which gave them four men to the Red Wings’ three. Lidstrom, Chelios, and Steve Yzerman stayed in a tight triangle formation in front of the net, and kept the Kings from getting many shots against Hasek.
They killed off the penalty, but it proved to be not quite enough. With only 1:27 left, Palffy, who had been stopped by Hasek four times already, took the puck on a breakaway, and was able to slide the puck underneath Detroit’s goalie, to give the Kings the win.
Hasek stopped twenty-six of the twenty-nine shots he faced, and Potvin stopped twenty out of twenty-two. The Red Wings currently lead the league with a record of 14-3-0-1, for twenty-nine points. They are tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the highest number of goals, at fifty-eight, and have allowed forty-one goals against them this season. The New York Islanders and Boston Bruins hold the current lead for goals-against, with thirty-five.
The Red Wings return home to begin a four-game homestand against the Carolina Hurricanes Tuesday night.