Red Wings Score Four in First, Roll Past Kings

The Detroit Red Wings scored four goals in the first period on Friday night, rolling past the Los Angeles Kings with a 5-2 victory.

Gustav Nyquist scored two of those markers, both on the power play.

Nyquist opened the game’s scoring at 5:51, beating Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick from the slot off a feed from Henrik Zetterberg in the right faceoff circle.

Pavel Datsyuk would make it 2-0 at 9:42, stealing the puck from Dwight King and driving back towards the net. Datsyuk’s attempted pass deflected off Kings’ defenseman Jake Muzzin and past Quick.

Nyquist’s second came just 2:02 later. Niklas Kronwall sent a shot wide of the LA net that left Quick scrambling. The puck bounced off the back boards and came out in front with Quick still down and Nyquist jumped on it, knocking it into the net to make it 3-0.

With 4:32 remaining, Tomas Tatar made it 4-0, banging home a shot from the side of the net off a feed from Nyquist behind the goal.

With 9:19 left in the second period, Alec Martinez got the Kings on the board. After Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard thought he’d stopped Martinez’s initial shot, Mike Richards dug the puck free from under Howard and it came out to Martinez again for a backhander past the Red Wings’ netminder.

Tyler Toffoli pulled the Kings to within a pair just 1:48 into the third period while shorthanded. Howard stopped a shot by Trevor Lewis and attempted to keep play alive, passing the puck off to Henrik Zetterberg. The puck bounced and Zetterberg couldn’t handle it, with Toffoli jumping in to take it back. He dumped it out to Robyn Regehr who fired a shot back on Howard and Toffoli was there to pick up the rebound and put it in the back of the net.

The Kings had a chance to cut Detroit’s lead to one 41 seconds later but Howard stopped Dustin Brown on a penalty shot to preserve the lead.

Datsyuk would add an empty-net goal to round out the game’s scoring.

Detroit finished the night two-for-five on the power play while the Kings were scoreless on two tries with the man-advantage.

Howard made 28 saves on 30 shots. Quick stopped 30 of 34 chances.

The Red Wings next play on Sunday in Buffalo.

Detroit lost defenseman Kyle Quincey to an ankle injury in the first period… Forward Stephen Weiss was placed on injured reserve before the game after suffering a groin injury while playing for the Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday in what was supposed to be the first of two games of a conditioning stint… The Red Wings’ healthy scratches were Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff.

Pregame: Kings @ Red Wings – 4/24

Two nights after a 4-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes, the Red Wings face another virtual must-win in their quest for a playoff spot as they host the Los Angeles Kings.

To control their own fate, Detroit must earn five points in their remaining six games. Anything less than that and they’ll need help from the teams that play the Columbus Blue Jackets, who the Wings are one point behind right now. To make matters more difficult, the Red Wings and Blue Jackets both play the Dallas Stars, who sit two points behind Detroit in the standings. They also both play the Nashville Predators, who are out of the playoffs.

The Wings will roll with the same lineup they used to blank Phoenix against Los Angeles. Todd Bertuzzi was expected to make his return from injury but will sit for one more game and be in the lineup tomorrow against Nashville. Mikael Samuelsson was cleared to play but will be kept out.

Los Angeles will be without captain Dustin Brown, who was suspended for two games after an elbow to the head of Minnesota’s Jason Pominville last night.

Game time is 7:30 PM on NBCSN.

TGTW: Wings Snap Skid, Remain Atop Central

The Games That Weren’t is one of many projects simulating the games lost by the NHL lockout. In the absence of actual games to write about, I’ll be checking in periodically on the fictional Red Wings’ season.

The Detroit Red Wings ended their seven-game losing streak this week, keeping pace with the Nashville Predators in a tie atop the Central Division.

The Wings’ skid ended on Tuesday with a 2-1 win over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Phoenix got on the board first with a David Moss goal just 1:05 in but Valtteri Filppula evened things up at 8:57. Todd Bertuzzi scored the go-ahead goal with 4:28 left in the second as Jimmy Howard stopped 28 of 29 shots to get the win.

The defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings made sure Detroit didn’t make it a winning streak, with a 6-2 win over the Wings. Jeff Carter opened the scoring at 5:23 of the first. Danny Cleary tied it up at 7:17 but Dustin Brown put the Kings ahead again just ten seconds later. Only 39 seconds after that, Jarret Stoll scored his first of the year to make it 3-1. Anze Kopitar made it 4-1 with 4:55 let in the opening period. Stoll and Carter each scored second-period goals and Justin Abdelkader closed out the scoring in the third. Howard made 11 saves on 16 shots against before being pulled after Stoll’s second goal. Jonas Gustavsson stopped nine of ten shots in 33:37 of play.

Howard rebounded to blank the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. Henrik Zetterberg‘s shorthanded goal with 3:07 left in the second period got the Wings’ on the board and Johan Franzen added an insurance marker with 5:09 left in the third. Howard stopped all 25 shots he faced.

After eight weeks, Detroit is tied with Nashville atop the Central at 26 points, with both teams having played 24 games. The St. Louis Blues are two points back with three games in hand.

Team-leading scorer Filppula sits third in the league in scoring with 30 points, behind Kopitar (34) and Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin (32). Filppula and Pavel Datsyuk are tied for fourth in the league with 19 assists.

Jimmy Howard is no longer on the leaderboard for goals-against average or save percentage but his four shutouts are tied for the league lead.

The coming week will see Detroit’s homestand continue with games against the Colorado Avalanche and Washington Capitals.

Miller, Emmerton Each Score Twice as Red Wings Rout Kings

The Detroit Red Wings got two-goal efforts from both Drew Miller and Cory Emmerton Saturday night, en route to a 8-2 rout of the Los Angeles Kings.

For Emmerton, his was his first career multiple-point game and his first goals since the season opener. For Miller, it continued a scoring trend that’s seen him more than double his season output in the last week.

Miller opened the game’s scoring only 1:45 into the game. Darren Helm put a shot on net from the right faceoff circle and LA goalie Jonathan Quick kicked the puck into the slot. Miller, driving to the net, picked it up and knocked it back past Quick.

Just 15 seconds later, Emmerton deflected a Jonathan Ericsson shot from just inside the blue line past Quick to make it a two-goal lead.

A Niklas Kronwall blast from the top of the right circle bounced off the post and into the net at 8:32, giving the Red Wings a 3-0 lead and ending Quick’s night, as he was replaced in the Kings’ crease by Jonathan Bernier.

Davis Drewiske got Los Angeles on the board with 2:45 left in the first. After the Red Wings twice failed to clear their zone, Justin Williams sent a pass to Drewiske, who was wide open in the left circle to snap a shot past Jimmy Howard.

Emmerton’s second of the night restored Detroit’s three-goal lead with 1:25 left in the period. Justin Abdelkader sent a pass from the left corner to Emmerton alone in the slot for a quick shot past Bernier, making it 4-1.

The Kings pulled to within a pair again in the second period. With 8:57 left, Jarret Stoll knocked home the rebound of a Williams shot, getting LA back in the game.

Henrik Zetterberg ended any thoughts of a comeback just 1:03 later, powering to the net with Alec Martinez and Dustin Brown on him, lifting a backhander over Bernier’s shoulder and into the top of the net.

Pavel Datsyuk made it 6-2 with 22 seconds left in the middle frame. Todd Bertuzzi made a diving play in the neutral zone to knock the puck to Johan Franzen at the blue line, who carried it into the Kings’ zone and sent it to Datsyuk in the slot. Datsyuk tipped it past Bernier as the goaltender got stuck moving from right to left.

Miller added his second of the night at 7:34 of the third period, snapping a loose puck in the slot past Bernier to make it 7-2.

Brad Stuart rounded out the scoring on a power play goal with 8:42 remaining, putting a booming shot from the top of the right circle through a screen by Tomas Holmstrom and past Bernier.

Stuart’s goal was the only power play marker of the night for either team. The Kings had four tries with the extra attacker while the Red Wings had three.

Howard finished the night with 27 saves on 29 Los Angeles shots. Quick stopped four of the seven shots he faced before being replaced by Bernier, who made 15 saves on twenty shots.

The Red Wings are next in action on Monday when they visit the Edmonton Oilers to kick off a Western Canadian road trip.

With forwards Jan Mursak, Patrick Eaves and Chris Conner all on injured reserve, defenseman Mike Commodore was Detroit’s only healthy scratch.

Red Wings Drop Third-straight at Home in 2-1 Loss to Kings

The Detroit Red Wings’ woes at Joe Louis Arena continued on Wednesday as they lost their third consecutive home game, a 2-1 decision to the Los Angeles Kings.

With the loss, the Red Wings dropped to 17-11-4 at home this season while carrying a 22-9-4 road record.

The Kings used a two-goal second period to beat Detroit.

At 7:50 of the period, Anze Kopitar drove to the net and banged home the rebound of a Dustin Penner shot after goalie Jimmy Howard couldn’t corral the puck.

With 5:17 remaining, Dustin Brown tipped a Alec Martinez shot past Howard on a power play. The shot was also tipped by Alexei Ponikarovsky en route to the net.

The Red Wings were unhappy with the second goal as it came just moments after Michael Handzus cut Nicklas Lidstrom with an inadvertant high stick. No penalty was called on the play.

Detroit’s lone goal came 5:57 into the first period, when a Darren Helm slap shot from the right faceoff circle squeaked through goaltender Jonathan Quick‘s pads.

Quick finished the night with 28 saves on 29 shots. Howard stopped 24 of the 26 chances he faced.

Los Angeles went one-for-three on the power play while the Red Wings did not score on two power play tries.

Detroit is back in action on Friday when they host the Edmonton Oilers.

Red Wings Hold Off Kings for 7-4 Win

The Los Angeles Kings scored the final three goals Monday night but it wasn’t enough to recover from Detroit’s early scoring, with the Red Wings holding on for a 7-4 victory to kick off their West Coast road trip.

The Kings were already down 7-1 when they scored three goals in the final 7:34 of the game.

Dustin Brown made it 7-2 when he picked up a loose puck in front of Howard and whipped it past him.

Wayne Simmonds added another goal with 1:05 left to play, poking the puck past Howard from the top of the crease.

Brad Richardson finished off the game’s scoring with 21 seconds remaining, tipping a Matt Greene chance past Howard.

Michal Handzus had opened the scoring at 4:09 of the first, banging home a rebound chance from the side of the net on a Los Angeles power play.

Drew Miller replied for the Red Wings at 6:37 of the period, banking a shot off of LA goalie Jonathan Quick from an acute angle.

Detroit took the lead just 30 seconds later when Danny Cleary knifed a Jiri Hudler shot out of the air and past Quick from the slot.

A Nicklas Lidstrom blast from the blue line off a feed from Mike Modano made it 3-1 with 1:12 left in the first. It was Detroit’s first of two power play goals on the night.

Pavel Datsyuk scored the Wings’ second power play goal with 42 seconds left in the second period. Datsyuk held the puck in at the blue line and worked his way into the left faceoff circle to snap a shot over Quick’s glove.

Darren Helm made it 5-1 at 2:01 of the third period, clearing the puck past Drew Doughty at the point in the Detroit end and racing down the ice on a shorthanded breakaway before beating Quick five-hole.

Miller notched his second of the night at 5:53, knocking the rebound of a Kris Draper chance past Quick and ending the goaltender’s night.

Hudler wrapped up Detroit’s scoring with 9:38 to play, taking a cross-ice feed from Jakub Kindl and putting the puck into the open side of Jonathan Bernier‘s net as a power play expired.

The Red Wings finished the night with two power play goals on four chances with the extra attacker. Los Angeles went one-for-four on the power play.

Howard made 35 saves on 39 shots in picking up the win. Quick took the loss with 18 saves on 24 shots, while Bernier stopped two of the three chances he faced.

The Red Wings continue their road trip on Wednesday in Anaheim.

The Red Wings were without defenseman Brian Rafalski and forward Johan Franzen. Rafalski missed his second consecutive game with back spasms while Franzen was allowed to remain home in Detroit following the birth of his first child.

Red Wings Close Road Trip with OT Loss to Kings

The Detroit Red Wings wrapped up their three-game California road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings Saturday night. The Red Wings took five of a possible six points while on the West Coast.

The loss spoiled the return of goaltender Chris Osgood, making his first start after missing a month with a groin injury. Osgood made 22 saves on 25 shots on the night.

Detroit took a 1-0 lead with 4:31 left in the first period when Jonathan Ericsson pinched in to slap the rebound of a Pavel Datsyuk shot over diving LA goalie Jonathan Quick.

The Kings tied things back up 24 seconds into the second period, when Justin Williams tipped a Rob Scuderi shot in the slot to beat Osgood.

Todd Bertuzzi restored the Detroit lead just 48 seconds later with a goal similar to Ericsson’s, pinching in from the point to put a rebound into the top of the net.

Like Detroit, Los Angeles’ second goal mirrored their first. Alec Martinez fired from the point and the puck deflected off of Darren Helm, pulling the Kings back into a tie at 7:18 of the second.

Anze Kopitar won it for the Kings in overtime. On a three-on-two with Dustin Brown and Martinez, Kopitar slowed up to get open at the top of the right circle for a one-timer past Osgood with 56 seconds remaining.

Neither team scored a power play goal on the night, each having two tries with the extra attacker.

Quick made 27 saves on 29 Detroit chances.

The Red Wings now return home for a three-game homestand, starting Monday against the San Jose Sharks.

Kris Draper made his first appearance of the season, having missed the first 23 games after surgery for a sports hernia. He was -1 in 5:14 of play.

Osgood, Red Wings Blank Kings

The Detroit Red Wings and goaltender Chris Osgood shut out the Los Angles Kings Tuesday night, with Detroit cruising to a 3-0 victory.

Osgood stopped 27 shots en route to his third shutout of the season and the 46th of his career. The win moved him past Rogie Vachon for sole possession of 15th place in all-time career wins.

Detroit scored one goal each period on the offensive side of the game.

Tomas Holmstrom got the Red Wings on the board at 6:57 of the first. Rushing into the Los Angeles zone, Pavel Datsyuk stepped around Dustin Brown on the left wing and threw the puck out front for Holmstrom to one-time past goalie Jason Labarbara.

Strong defensive play by Matt Ellis led to Detroit’s second goal with 5:13 left in the middle period.

Ellis forced the puck loose along the left wing boards in the Detroit end and Mikael Samuelsson picked it up, racing down the ice almost alone. Just as Rob Blake caught up with him, he snapped a shot into the top corner over Labarbara’s glove.

Johan Franzen finished the scoring at 2:55 of the third. A Samuelsson shot went wide of the net and off the back boards, coming back to Franzen at the side of the crease. He pulled it back in front of the goal between his own legs and jammed it across the goal line.

Labarbara made 24 saves on 27 Detroit shots on the night.

No power play goals were scored, with the Red Wings having three opportunities with the extra attacker and the Kings having two.

Henrik Zetterberg sat out with a sore back. Matt Ellis was in the lineup in his place… Chris Chelios also sat out, with Derek Meech taking his spot in the lineup.

Red Wings Wrap Homestand with Win over Kings

The Detroit Red Wings closed out a stretch that saw them play nine of eleven games at home Wednesday night, finishing the run with a 6-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings.

The Red Wings earned 21 of a possible 22 points in that time. They will now play five games in a row on the road.

Detroit took control of the game early but the Kings made a several-minute run at the end of the first period and early in the second, tying the game before the Red Wings regained control.

Henrik Zetterberg got the Red Wings on the board just 59 seconds into the game with a power play goal. Nicklas Lidstrom held the puck in at the Kings’ blue line and worked it to Zetterberg near the slot for a quick wrister past goalie Jason Labarbara.

At 7:37 of the period, Jiri Hudler stretched the Wings’ lead to two, putting in the rebound of a blast from the blue line by Niklas Kronwall.

Dustin Brown‘s power play goal with 1:28 left in the first got the Kings on the board and Patrick O’Sullivan scored on a rush just 15 seconds into the second period to even things up.

Tomas Holmstrom put the Wings back in the lead 3:20 later, poking the puck from under Labarbara and into the net after a shot by Zetterberg.

Dan Cleary restored Detroit’s two-goal lead on the power play with 8:15 remaining in the middle frame, tipping a Kronwall shot from the blue line.

Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula closed out the game’s scoring in the third period.

Frazen scored just 49 seconds in, knocking home the rebound of an Andreas Lilja shot. Filppula’s goal came at 8:57 when his shot on goal was tipped past Labarbara by defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky.

Labarbara finished the night with 29 saves on 35 shots. Dominik Hasek made 18 saves on 20 shots in Detroit’s net.

Detroit went two-for-five with the extra attacker while the Kings were one-for-four.

The Red Wings are back in action on Thursday when they visit the St. Louis Blues in the second of three games in four nights.

Kris Draper returned to the Detroit lineup after missing nine games with a knee injury. Aaron Downey was a healthy scratch to make room for Draper… Kronwall’s four assists were a career-high.

Red Wings Get Back on Track with 7-3 Win

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.

Only 1:10 later, Dustin Brown tied the game with LA on the power play. A long shot by Joe Corvo bounced off Detroit goalie Manny Legace and hit Brown’s ankle, deflecting back into the net.

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.

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