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Kings Pull Through for an Overtime Victory Over Red Wings
It wasn’t the Frenzy at Figueroa, but it works just as well.
“It’s a huge win,” forward Justin Williams said after the game.
Despite the Detroit Red Wings having played in Anaheim Friday night, nothing took the joy out of the Kings locker room in their 3-2 overtime win against the best of the west.
“They’re arguably the best team in the league right now,” Williams continued. “We battled back from a couple of one-goal deficits. We got the job done.”
At the start of the game it surely didn’t look like it would end in a Kings victory. The Red Wings looked faster, got their sticks into the passing lane and were just plain outplaying the Kings for most of the first period.
“Detroit came out better than we did,” head coach Terry Murray said. “They probably talked about their start last night in Anaheim. They were outplayed, outshot by a wide margin. They didn’t want that to happen against a rested hockey club.”
After Anze Kopitar lost the puck in the neutral zone, Pavel Datsyuk carried the puck and shot from the top of the right circle. The puck rebounded from goalie Jonathan Quick’s pad and strayed out to Jonathan Ericsson who shot from the left faceoff circle, the puck hitting the left post before trickling in at 15:29.
“Our team will never pack it in,” Murray said.
Even after giving up a goal to Todd Bertuzzi 48 seconds after Justin Williams got his tenth goal of the season 24 seconds into the second period just as fans were getting back to their seats from their pee break, they continued on.
“I think the early goal in the second really got us going,” Williams said. “They were shutting us down and doing kind of what they wanted out there.”
For a good stretch the Kings had trouble getting the puck out of their zone. In the neutral zone a Red Wing stick would inevitably be in the passing lane breaking up any attempt by the Kings to get a rush going.
“They’re a puck possession team and don’t give you many chances,” Williams continued.
But on the Kings persisted. Williams passed the puck from behind the net to Peter Harrold at the right point who shoveled it off to Alec Martinez at the left point. With Kopitar and Dustin Brown screening goalie Chris Osgood, Martinez got the equalizer at 7:18.
“He’s got nice skills, he can really skate and he shoots the puck very well,” Murray noted about Martinez.
In fact it was Martinez who was instrumental in the Kings’ winning goal in overtime.
Nicklas Lidstrom on the left wing tried to make a cross-ice pass to Johan Franzen. Martinez had none of that, breaking up the pass and getting the puck to Brown who led a three-on-two rush with Martinez up the middle and Kopitar to the right. Right when Brown made the pass at the top of the left circle to Kopitar on the right wing, everyone knew it was going to go through.
“[Martinez] broke up the play and started that attack out of his own zone,” Murray said. “He then drives right through to the net backing in their defensemen which opened everything up for Brownie to make the pass to Kopi.
“That was textbook how you draw it, and he’s getting a lot of recognition for his play.”
Kopitar put it best: “It’s two points, and that’s all that matters.”
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