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>>caption: LAK's QUICK (#32) STOPPED
DET's DEREK MEECH (R) ON BOTH A
BREAKAWAY AND THE REBOUND<<
@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:
The Red Wings took a quick 2-0
lead just 7:31 into the game, but LA
goalie Jonathan Quick didn't yield
another and the Kings came back to edge the Wings 3-2 Saturday night.
A victory would have leap-frogged Detroit past Los Angeles into seventh
place in the NHL Western Conference standings. Instead, the Kings opened
a five game road trip by moving into sixth place and the Red Wings fell to
ninth in the crowded playoff seedings.
The Wings blew a two-goal lead for the third time in four games.
Each team had 33 shots on goal, but it was the visitors who controlled play
over the final 50-mins.
Valtteri Filppula (#4) scored first for Detroit at 5:29/1. Taking a pass off
the right boards from Dan Cleary, Filppula patiently waited as the KIngs
defense watched and when Quick dropped his right shoulder Filppula wristered
into the net.
Just over 2-mins later Todd Bertuzzi (#15) tallied during a 5-on-3 power play
at 7:31/1 when Brian Rafalski's point shot nudged Bertuzzi's knee on its way
Los Angeles made it 2-1 at 1:55/2 when Anze Kopitar (#20) got a tip-in.
Kopitar would later add a pair of secondary assists for a 3-pt night.
Constant Kings pressure led to Peter Harrold (#1) tying the game 2-all on a
snapshot at 6:27/3. Harrold was the uncovered late man up the slot.
Brad Richardson's (#7) tip-in past Wings goaler Jimmy Howard was the
game-winner at 12:03/3. Between two Detroit defenders, Richardson re-directed
a shot-pass out of the right corner by Kalamazoo, MI native Scott Parse.
The Red Wings fell to 1-2-2 in their last five games.
The Kings earned just their second win in 17 games at The Joe since
February of 2000.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: "After we got up 2-0, I thought they took over
in the second half of the first period. They controlled the second period, and they
capitalized on some chances in the third...They got on top of our D and ground our D
down. I didn't think our forwards put enough pressure on their D. They executed and
they caught us from behind."
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTRTOM: "We had a good chance to gain a couple
points on these guys, and after the first 10 minutes we stopped skating. We got
outworked. The whole second period it felt like we spent in our zone. They carried
most of the game."
R-WINGS FWD HENRIK ZETTERBERG: "The teams we're playing are battling us for
playoff spots. We have top get these [standings] points or we won't be in the playoffs."
KINGS CEN ANZE KOPITAR: "They're right behind us in the standings, and just to
push them a little further down, it definitely makes a difference. Hopefully it's going
to pay off in the end."
KINGS Rt-WING BRAD RICHARDSON: "It's always a tough building, coming in here.
We got down early, when they had that 5-on-3, but we didn't play too bad in the first.
They kind of got those bounces but we played really good in the second and really good
in the third, and that was a huge win for us. Obviously the standings are tight, so any
win, especially against the guys right behind us, is huge."
Quick's first career victory vs Detroit made him 1-5 all-time against the
Red Wings and ended LA's six game losing skid againsat the Wings.
Almost an entire section of lower bowl seats was vacated during the third period
when an unidentified man was spotted on a conduit above a catwalk in the rafters. After
the man was removed the fans returned to their seats.
Saturday's game followed two days of uncomfortable reaction to comments made
by Kings GM Dean Lombardi calling LAK defenseman Jack Johnson "an awful hockey
player" who came to the pros from "the worst" college team (Michigan) in developing
hockey talent. It should be noted Johnson was somehow good enough to earn a
spot on this year's US Olympic hockey team.
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