After the 1st period:
Kings 2, Detroit Red Wings 0
The good: Looking determined to a avoid a four-game sweep against the Red Wings this season, the Kings came out red hot in the opening period and received an even-strength goal from Justin Williams and a short-hander from Anze Kopitar. The Kings had two excellent scoring chances in the first six minutes, one by Jarret Stoll and the other Jeff Carter, but Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard was up for the challenge. The Kings got one through with 13:12 remaining, as Drew Doughty took a shot from the point and Howard was unable to secure the puck. Williams saw it loose in the crease and shoved it across the goal line for his 17th goal of the season. In addition to Doughty, team captain Dustin Brown also received an assist on the play, stretching his points streak to nine games, which matches his career high from the 2007-08 season. The Red Wings went on the power play about five minutes later when Dustin Penner was called for holding, but it was the Kings who scored when Brown spotted some open ice in front of Kopitar and passed the puck in his direction. Kopitar did the rest, letting go of a wrist shot that beat Howard for his 21stgoal of the season. Kopitar has now scored a short-handed goal in each of his six seasons in the NHL. The Kings then killed the Penner penalty, the 29th consecutive power play they’ve erased.
The bad: The Kings had a 9-1 edge in shot on goals after Kopitar scored, but were out-shot, 5-1, over the final five minutes. The Kings have given up eight one-goal leads in the last four games and can’t sit back on their heels and try to protect a lead against Detroit, which erased three one-goal leads against the Kings on Friday in Detroit before winning, 4-3. The Kings also registered 10 giveaways in the opening period, compared to one for the Red Wings. Another trend that can’t continue if the Kings want to get two points tonight.
The in between: Doughty and Rob Scuderi, who were a combined minus-13 in the previous four games, are each a plus-2 heading into the second period. Let’s see if that holds up for another two periods.