Lackluster Wings Fall to LA

A third period rally after a ho-hum first and second period weren’t enough to save the Red Wings, and they went down to the Los Angeles Kings, 3-0.

Faceoffs are a main key to creating scoring chances, and the Kings were really able to dominate the Red Wings on that skill. Detroit’s problems were compounded late in the first period when they had to kill off twenty-six seconds of a five-on-three penalty from overlapping calls to Igor Larionov and Mathieu Dandenault. The penalty killers kept organized and didn’t let the Kings set up any quality shots, and Dominik Hasek stopped the shots which did get through to the net. Hasek and Kings’ goalie Felix Potvin each stopped six shots in the first.

Los Angeles dominated defensively in the second period, turning small defensive mistakes and faceoff losses by the Red Wings into scoring chances. Hasek continued to be huge, turning all shots aside until only 6:41 was remaining in the period. Cliff Ronning passed the puck from the boards across to Aaron Miller at the blue line, and Miller fired hard on net. Hasek came out to challenge the shot, but the puck got past him and bounced off each goalpost before settling into the net.

The Kings scored again before the end of the period. Adam Deadmarsh shook off Sean Avery at the blue line, causing a two-on-one, then passed across to Jason Allison going to the net. Allison flipped the puck in past Hasek.

The Red Wings tried to come back hard in the third period, but this time it was Potvin’s turn to shine. Potvin played deep in his net and stopped every shot the Wings could throw at him. A lost faceoff in Detroit’s zone wound up putting Los Angeles ahead for good. The Kings got control of the puck, and Allison got the puck to Kelly Buchberger, who squeezed between Larionov and Brett Hull to put the puck into the net.

Shots were thirty-one to twenty-eight in Detroit’s favor. Half of the Wings’ shots on net came in the third period. The Red Wings will end their West Coast road trip on Saturday night, when they face the Pacific Division-leading San Jose Sharks.

Tonight’s wins by Los Angeles over Detroit and San Jose over Phoenix leave LA and Phoenix tied for fifth place in the Western Conference. This means that if the playoffs started today, the first round matchups would be Detroit against Edmonton, Colorado against St. Louis, San Jose against Los Angeles, and Chicago against Phoenix.

King Palffy

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.


Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Wings won huge over Chicago and are one point back of the Blues, who they play on Friday, but even the most die-hard Detroit fan knows that’s not a big deal with “the trade” having been made.

All Star defenseman Rob Blake has been dealt from the Los Angels Kings to the Colorado Avalanche. Blake was sent to the Avs along with center Steve Reinprecht for forward Adam Deadmarsh, defenceman Aaron Miller, a 2001 first-round pick, a prospect to be named later, and future considerations. It’s the second time in as many seaosn the Avalanche have picked up a star d-man at the trade deadline, having added Ray Bourque last year.

The Wings were rumored several weeks ago to have won the Rob Blake sweepstakes, but nothing came of that. Detroit will now likely pursue the more affordable Sean O’Donnell out of Minnesota.

Sepak your mind about the deal in the Fan Forum.

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