Wings' 4-game win streak snapped in loss to Kings
Los Angeles — The first period was good, and the Red Wings were satisfied with the third.
But, oh, that middle period.
A lousy middle 20 minutes brought the Los Angeles Kings back into the game Monday. The Kings ultimately took advantage early in the third, snapping a tie and defeating the Red Wings 4-2.
The loss ended a four-game Red Wings win streak and put damper on what had been a successful road trip.
“The second (period), we didn’t have enough,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “They pushed and we didn’t push back. They took it to us. They were clearly the better team in the second.
“After they scored the power-play goal in the third period (to give LA a 3-2 lead), we had a pretty good push and we played pretty well until the four- minute mark. (But) you have to play a complete 60 minutes.”
On the same day key penalty killer Drew Miller was put on the injured list with a torn meniscus, the Red Wings allowed two Kings power-play goals, including the tie-breaking goal by Alec Martinez (Rochester) at 1:28 of the third period.
“It was a disappointing from a results standpoint but from a process standpoint we were OK,” said Blashill of the penalty kill.
Dwight King finished things off with an empty-net goal with just under a minute remaining, giving the Kings (27-12-3, 57 points) their seventh win in 11 games (7-3-1).
Tomas Tatar and Alexey Marchenko scored Red Wings goals, with Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm assisting on both
The Red Wings (22-14-7, 51 points) saw their season-high four-game win streak end, with the completion of this six-game road trip coming Thursday in Arizona.
“Overall it was a pretty solid road game,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “When you play against a team like this, there just isn’t a lot of quality chances, just a lot of ugly chances. You have to get in front of the net and get a lot of pucks at the net for second chances, and maybe we didn’t really get them in the second period.
“But in the third we had a real good push again and after they scored we had some pretty good shifts, good chances. But they’re a good team.”
Goaltender Jimmy Howard returned to the starting lineup and had 27 saves, but wasn’t entirely satisfied.
“It was a complete battle out there,” Howard said. “I was trying to the best of my ability to find pucks and make saves for the guys, but came up short.
“I have pretty high standards for myself. I demand a lot from myself and tonight was not a good performance.”
Tyler Toffoli and Anze Kopitar (power play) scored for the Kings (27-12-3, 57 points).
Kopitar tied the game 2-2 with his 12th goal, on the power play.
After Howard was called for tripping, Kopitar won the draw and got the puck back near the top of the circle where he snapped a shot that flew by Howard, who was screened by Milan Lucic.
The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead into the second period, rallying after a disappointing start.
After the Red Wings pressured on a power play but didn’t score, the Kings came down on a 2-on-1 rush with Kopitar feeding Toffoli for an easy tap-in and 20th goal.
Brendan Smith pinched too aggressively on the play, enabling Kopitar and Toffoli to go in alone with only Mike Green back.
But the Red Wings rallied with Tatar and Marchenko scoring just under three minutes apart.
Tatar tied it with his 14th goal at 15:49.
Datsyuk skated the puck in and wheeled a pass to Helm near the opposite circle.
Helm snapped a shot that Tatar deflected, cruising through a slew of bodies in front of goalie Jonathan Quick.
Marchenko made it 2-1 at 18:16 with his first goal of the season.
Two Kings over-skated the puck, which slid to Marchenko near the top of the slot. Marchenko snapped a shot past Quick, giving the Red Wings the lead.