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Kings Sink Against Red Wings
The Kings made the biggest splash of trade deadline day getting Dustin Penner from the Edmonton Oilers for a minor leaguer and two draft picks. Yet if it were possible to sink in ice, the Kings did just that as they fell to the Detroit Red Wings 7-4 as the Wings fans serenaded their team on in the final period.
“They kicked our ass,” defenseman Jack Johnson said after the game.
It was really a shame since the Kings did do a good job in the first period outshooting the Wings 14-10 and controlling the puck for most of the period. However all they had to show for it was the game’s first goal when Michal Handzus stuffed a loose puck past goalie Jimmy Howard at 4:09 after Jarret Stoll’s hard shot from the high slot.
Then it was all Wings.
“The momentum changed late in the first period,” head coach Terry Murray said. “They scored goals at the right time, and gave us a real lesson here today on how to come and be ready - just to play hard, to play smart, to play intelligently on the road.”
Goaltender Jonathan Quick allowed a bad goal when Drew Miller’s shot from behind the left goal line bounced of him and into the net at 6:37.
“I let in a bad goal,” Quick admitted. “I didn’t get better from there unfortunately.”
It was such a bad goal that even Murray contemplated pulling Quick at that point.
“I did think about it after the first goal,” Murray said. “I don’t like that first goal.”
Things didn’t get any better 30 seconds later Danny Cleary tipped in Jiri Hudler’s attempt from the right point to give the Wings the 2-1 lead.
“Their first two goals were a result of our turnovers,” captain Dustin Brown said.
And just to cap things off on a bad high-sticking call on Stoll, Nicklas Lidstrom got the power-play goal with 1:12 left in the period on a shot from the high slot.
“Now we want to take hitting out the game,” Murray snidely commented. “I just don’t get that call at all.”
From the second period on it was all Wings even though they only got a power-play goal with 42 seconds left in the period on a pretty top-shelf shot by Pavel Datsyuk.
“In the second period we kind of sat back,” Brown said. “And you can’t sit back against a team like that.”
And with that three-goal lead the thoughts of the Frenzy on Figueroa harkening back to the 2002 playoffs when the Kings came back from a 3-0 deficit with five minutes left in the game to win the game in overtime. And if they held the Wings, they could’ve done this as Brown, Wayne Simmonds and Brad Richardson scored in the final eight minutes of the game.
But Darren Helm made sure to quash that fantasy with a short-handed breakaway goal 2:01 in the period. After Miller scored his second goal of the game at 5:53 that led to Quick being pulled for Jonathan Bernier, Hudler got his to turn this to a laugher despite the Kings frantic comeback at the end.
“We didn’t compete for a lot of the [third] period,” Brown said. “That is unacceptable regardless of the score. We’ve got to play the game the right way.”
The Kings will have a couple of days to lick the wounds before coming back Thursday night for a divisional game against the Phoenix Coyote who are sitting just above them in the standings.
“This is the time of the year when you’ve got to dig in,” Murray said. “So we’ll absorb this loss and hopefully we can bounce back and get ready to go against Phoenix."