Kings-Red Wings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings haven't tallied a goal since their late outburst in Los Angeles last weekend. The Kings haven't needed much scoring since that defeat but got plenty in the opener to their road trip.
Los Angeles seeks a third consecutive win in Saturday night's rematch with the Red Wings, who try to avoid suffering three straight regular-season shutouts for the first time in franchise history.
Detroit (20-17-10) beat Los Angeles 3-1 last Saturday in the middle of a five-game trip, scoring twice in the final eight minutes with Tomas Tatar netting the game-winner.
The Red Wings wrapped up the trek with a pair of 1-0 defeats, falling at Anaheim on Sunday before losing to the New York Rangers on Thursday on a goal with 5:58 remaining. The only time they were blanked in three consecutive games came during the 1945 Stanley Cup finals against Toronto.
"It's frustrating right now," said goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has a 1.91 goals-against average in his last five games. "We have to score more goals. We are creating a lot of chances. We just can't bear down and get them in right now."
Not helping the Red Wings' scoring woes is a lower-body injury to star forward Pavel Datsyuk. Detroit's leading goal scorer and the newly named captain for the Russian Olympic team sat out the entire road trip.
Daniel Alfredsson has been dealing with a troublesome back and Joakim Andersson was out Thursday because of an upper-body injury. While it's unclear when Datsyuk, Alfredsson or Andersson will return, Darren Helm (groin), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia) and Johan Franzen (concussion) are out with long-term ailments.
The Kings (29-14-5) will try to take advantage of a short-handed Detroit team to win for the fifth time in seven games. Like the Red Wings with Howard, Los Angeles has gotten some strong goaltending recently from a player on the U.S. Olympic roster.
Jonathan Quick has a 1.32 GAA in six games after missing nearly two months with a groin injury. Since losing to Detroit, he defeated Vancouver 1-0 on Monday and helped Los Angeles snap a five-game road losing streak with a 4-1 victory over St. Louis on Thursday.
The start of a five-game trip saw the Kings' offense get back on track with three goals in the third period, including Trevor Lewis' first two of the season. He had one point in his first 38 games this season.
"(Lewis) does all the details within our game, within our system," center Jarret Stoll said. "A lot of stuff doesn't get noticed when you're writing articles or seeing us on TV. ... He's a great teammate so it's good to see him get rewarded."
Los Angeles has lost four straight in Detroit as Quick has posted a 4.17 GAA. He's lost six of seven overall against the Red Wings with a 3.62 GAA.
Howard is 3-1-0 with a 1.51 GAA in his last four meetings with Los Angeles.