Brett Hull scored his first goal in 21 games, ending the longest goal scoring drought of his career and helping the Detroit Red Wings to a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Kings.
Hull’s goal came 3:47 into the second period as the Wings were on one of their two power plays of the game. Defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom fired a shot from inside the blue line that Hull deflected near the slot and went past Kings’ goalie Roman Cechmanek to pull Detroit back into a 2-2 tie with Los Angeles.
Detroit had opened the scoring off a faceoff 6:01 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk won the draw back to Jamie Rivers at the blue line. Rivers sent a pass to Jason Woolley who fired a shot from along the boards that was deflected into the net from the slot by Steve Thomas.
The Kings took the lead on goals just 1:30 apart later in the first period. Trent Klatt scored on the power play with 4:49 remaining in the period, deflecting a shot at the top of the crease through Detroit netminder Curtis Joseph‘s five-hole. Alexander Frolov put the Kings up by a goal after picking up a rebound and firing it over the sprawling Joseph.
Detroit regained the lead when Mathieu Schneider fired a shot from the right faceoff circle by Cechmanek 1:30 after Hull tied the game.
Jamie Rivers, who was inserted into the lineup late after Niklas Kronwall was injured in pre-game warmups, scored his first goal as a Red Wing 3:55 into the final period. Rivers picked off a pass just inside the Kings’ blue line and rifled a quick shot by Cechmanek to make it 4-2.
Another power play goal pulled the Kings back within a goal when former Red Wing Luc Robitaille deflected a shot by Joseph at the 6:15 mark of the third.
Schneider’s second goal of the game put Detroit back up by a goal with 6:08 remaining in the game and that was enough for the Red Wings to hold on for the victory.
Frolov finished the game’s scoring with 1:17 remaining in regulation. As the Kings skated with the extra attacker, Frolov swept down the left side of the ice and fired a backhand shot over the stick of a surprised Joseph for his second goal of the night.
Joseph stopped 25 of the 29 shots he faced in net for the Red Wings. Cechmanek made 24 saves on 29 shots between the pipes for the Kings.
Detroit is next in action on Saturday night when the Red Wings pay their first ever visit to the new Glendale Arena, home of the Phoenix Coyotes.