The Detroit Red Wings scored early and often Sunday night, leading to a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings in Detroit’s annual New Year’s Eve game.
The Red Wings got on the board just 5:45 into the game when a series of pretty passes from Pavel Datsyuk to Henrik Zetterberg to Tomas Holmstrom led to Holmstrom’s tip-in goal from the side of the net.
The Kings briefly tied the game with a power play goal at 1:55 of the second but Valtteri Filppula put Detroit back out in front 2:55 later, knocking his own rebound past goalie Matheiu Garon while sliding on his stomach toward the goal.
The Wings would never again give up the lead.
Just 1:50 after that, Datsyuk scored on a well-placed shot from the left circle through a screen.
Los Angeles pulled back to within one with Alexander Frolov’s second of the night with 7:18 remaining in the middle period but Kris Draper extended Detroit’s lead again with 2:48 remaining, finishing off a two-on-one with Johan Franzen.
At 4:27 of the third, Mikael Samuelsson added a power play goal on a shot from the right circle. Jason Williams added a final goal 1:01 later, chasing Garon from the net in favor of Barry Brust.
Detroit netminder Dominik Hasek stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced on the night, while Garon made 26 saves on 32 shots and Brust stopped all four shots against.
Each team scored once on the power play. Detroit had two chances and the Kings had four.
The Red Wings will kick off 2007 when they host the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night. The game is scheduled for 7:30 PM but will follow the ceremony for the retirement of Steve Yzerman’s jersey, scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.
Mikael Samuelsson returned to the lineup after missing six games with a groin injury… Chris Chelios missed his second game in a row with a “lower-body injury.”