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Saturday, Mar. 3 10:00pm ET
Red Wings fail to tie Avs at top

RECAP | BOX SCORE

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- For someone who has declined to accept the captaincy of his team, Luc Robitaille was every bit the leader the Los Angeles Kings have been looking for since trading Rob Blake.

Kris Draper
Kris Draper of the Red Wings, left, is hounded by the Eric Berlanger of the Kings during L.A.'s 6-3 win.

Robitaille had two power-play goals and an assist in the Kings' 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night. And he brawled twice with Detroit's Chris Chelios.

"I was suckered the first time," Robitaille said. "I wasn't ready, so I was a little upset the second time. But Chris plays hard every night. That's why he's a team leader and an All-Star."

Chelios and Robitaille were the main event during a nasty second period in which 74 minutes in penalties were called by referees Shane Heyer and Don Koharski.

"There was some emotion and energy in the game," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "Certainly, Detroit is a great team and there are a lot of great characters on that club. To beat them, you've got to stand up to them. Luc was just protecting his turf out there."

Robitaille's actions were completely out of character for the 15-year veteran left wing, who had not had a fighting major since April 16, 1998.

"I didn't even know he had a fight before tonight," said Detroit's Steve Duchesne, a teammate of Robitaille's for six seasons in Los Angeles. "It'll probably take another three years before he gets into another one."

Jozef Stumpel had a power-play goal and three assists for Los Angeles. Adam Deadmarsh, Glen Murray and Nelson Emerson scored in a 6:27 span of the first period, helping the Kings improve their record to 4-0-1 since sending Blake and Steve Reinprecht to Colorado on Feb. 21 for Deadmarsh and Aaron Miller.

Tomas Holmstrom had two goals and an assist and Steve Yzerman also scored for the Red Wings, who could have tied Colorado for the most points in the overall league standings with a victory.

"We're all desperate," Yzerman said. "Some teams are playing for a playoff spot, but other teams are playing for home-ice advantage."

The Red Wings, who allowed more than three goals only once in their previous 27 games, fell behind 6-1 after Holmstrom capitalized on a fanned clearing pass by Kelly Buchberger in the Kings' own zone to open the scoring at 4:12 of the first period.

Stumpel and Robitaille scored 48 seconds apart during 5-on-3 power plays to chase Chris Osgood to the bench after he surrendered six goals on 21 shots. Detroit's Martin Lapointe earned a 10-minute misconduct and game misconduct following the back-to-back 5-on-3 goals.

"We started the game pretty well, but as soon as they scored the first one, we seemed to lose our composure and we fell apart from there," Yzerman said. "Their power play looked awesome, and we weren't able to survive it."

Osgood, 8-0-2 in his previous 10 decisions, absorbed his -- and Detroit's -- first loss since Jan. 30 at New Jersey after sitting out back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 22-23.

In his previous start, Osgood surrendered three first-period goals to St. Louis and watched backup Manny Legace shut out the Blues through the final two periods in a 6-3 victory.

"Every time something happens like this, it gets over-exaggerated," Osgood said. "I mean, you play so many games and we've been playing so well lately, something like this was bound to happen sooner or later to us -- and to me. A goalie can't do everything."

Game notes
Stumpel won two faceoffs that resulted in the tying and go-ahead goals for Los Angeles. ... Detroit D Larry Murphy, who turns 40 on Thursday, returned to the lineup after missing four games because of a bone spur in his right heel. ... Deadmarsh redirected Mattias Norstrom's 35-foot slap shot between Osgood's pads for his 14th goal and first in four games with the Kings. ... The six goals by Los Angeles equaled a season-high allowed by the Red Wings, who did it three other times. ... The standing-room-only crowd of 18,477 -- 359 over Staples Center's capacity -- was the largest ever to attend an NHL game in the state of California.

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NHL Scoreboard

Detroit Clubhouse

Los Angeles Clubhouse


RECAPS
Boston 3
San Jose 2

Buffalo 3
Colorado 2

Florida 2
Atlanta 2

Montreal 3
Philadelphia 1

Tampa Bay 6
NY Islanders 0

Ottawa 3
Toronto 2

Washington 4
Pittsburgh 3

Calgary 3
St. Louis 2

Los Angeles 6
Detroit 3

AUDIO/VIDEO
video
 Jozef Stumpel and Luc Robitaille put the game out of reach with back-to-back power-play goals.
avi: 1460 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Steve Yzerman gets the loose puck and knocks it past Felix Potvin.
avi: 1840 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1

 Jozef Stumpel sets up Luc Robitaille for his first power-play goal of the game.
avi: 862 k
RealVideo: 56.6 | ISDN | T1