The Los Angeles Kings downed the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 at Staples Center Wednesday, extending their win streak to a season-high five games.
The Red Wings got on the board first, beating Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier with an odd goal to take an early 1-0 lead in the first period. Defenseman Kyle Quincey's slap shot bounced in-and-out of Bernier's glove and then into the air, where it inevitably dropped off the back of his mask and past the goal line. Quincey's unassisted goal was his first point of the season.
The Red Wings were called for three consecutive penalties midway through the second period, giving the Kings over two minutes of a 5 on 3 power play. Los Angeles failed to benefit from the opportunity, and they entered the third period still trailing by one.
Midway through the third period, the Kings once again earned themselves a 5-on-3 power-play opportunity, which was unbelievably their second one of the game. With Quincey and Pavel Datsyuk in the penalty box, Los Angeles finally took advantage of the 5-on-3 when Jeff Carter tipped a Mike Richards shot past Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard, tying the game at 1-1. The goal was Carter's team-leading 11th of the season, and his fifth one in the past five games. Anze Kopitar also earned an assist on the scoring play, which came at 10:26 of the third period.
Carter's power-play goal seemed to inject some life into the team, as the Kings produced their best offensive pressure of the night during the last half of the final period. Just a few minutes after tying the game, Kopitar put his team ahead with his sixth goal of the season on a nifty forehand to backhand move in front of the net, following some hard work along the boards from forwards Dwight King and Trevor Lewis in order to keep the puck alive. For Kopitar, the goal was his 17th point of the season (6 goal, 11 assists), and eighth point in the last four games.
Bernier stopped 32 of 33 shots in route to his fourth win in four starts this season. The 24-year-old goaltender has allowed just one goal in each of those four starts.
Detroit won the first meeting of the season between the two teams back on Feb. 10 in a wild finish. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez tied the game at 2-2 with 53 seconds remaining, but the Red Wings would answer. Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson stunned the Kings, scoring the game-winner with just under 5 seconds left on the clock.
The Red Wings, who dropped to 9-8-3 with the loss, had won three in a row prior to Wednesday's game against the Kings.
After a 3-5-2 start to the season, the Kings have turned things around, winning seven of their last eight to improve their record to 10-6-2.
The Kings will play in Vancouver on Saturday at 7 PM PST.
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