February 21, 2013
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Season series: Second of three meetings. If the initial matchup on Feb. 10 is any indication of what's in store, fans are in for a treat. Kings defenseman Alec Martinez knotted the score with 52.8 seconds left in regulation, but Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson answered by beating Jonathan Quick off a faceoff with 4.5 seconds remaining to give Detroit a 3-2 win at Joe Louis Arena.
Big story: This game is being nationally televised -- in the U.S. it's part of Wednesday Night Rivalry presented by Coors Light -- and for good reason. The defending champion Kings seem to have shaken free from their Stanley Cup hangover and have won four in a row, while the streaky Red Wings are on fire again, having taken two straight and scored 12 goals in the process.
Red Wings: A pair of first-year Detroit forwards combined to overwhelm Vancouver over the final two periods Sunday, as the Red Wings scored six unanswered goals to blitz the Canucks, 8-3. Damien Brunner, at 26 too old to be classified as a rookie, scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season, while true rookie Joakim Andersson picked up the second and third goals of his young career in a 52-second span of the third to cap the offensive outburst. Brunner finished with a four-point game.
"It was good to see the puck go in," Henrik Zetterberg, who scored a goal and had two assists, all in the middle period, told the Detroit Free Press. "We've been struggling a little bit and I think we've been doing good stuff in the end, but haven't really gotten the reward. We got it today."
Kings: The recent surge lifted Los Angeles all the way up to seventh in the Western Conference and second in the Pacific Division heading into Tuesday night's action, and the latest win came against the hottest team in the West residing outside of Chicago. Dustin Penner and Dustin Brown rallied the Kings from one-goal deficits in the second period and Slava Voynov sparked a three-goal third with the game-winner as they toppled the Ducks 5-2 on Monday and dealt Viktor Fasth his first NHL loss after eight consecutive victories.
"It's big to win it without going into overtime. We wanted those two points. In a division game it's almost like four," said Penner, whose goal was his first this season.
Who's hot: Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall has back-to-back three-point games, totaling one goal and five assists. Daniel Cleary has four goals in as many games. … Jeff Carter has goals in four straight games for the Kings. Brown has goals in three in a row. Anze Kopitar has a goal and five assists during a three-game points streak.
Injury report: Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey (ankle) is day-to-day. Forward Mikael Samuelsson (broken finger) is expected to miss at least another week. Defensemen Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Brendan Smith (shoulder) and forwards Darren Helm (back), Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Johan Franzen (hip) are on injured reserve. … Martinez (upper body) has joined fellow defensemen Willie Mitchell (knee) and Matt Greene (back) on injured reserve for Los Angeles.
Expected In Goal:
(Not yet confirmed as of post time... OF COURSE HE'S PROBABLE 10 hours before game time! How hard is it for Darryl Sutter to make a decision early?)