After 2 periods I looked at the shot count and had a hard time believing the Kings were up 2-0. The Red Wings led the Kings in shots on goal, 38-17. That wasn’t a problem tonight though, because Quick stopped them all.
Despite trailing in the shot count in the first, the Kings looked up for the challenge. The effort was there and the forecheck was there. After Wayne Simmonds sent a spin-around shot in between Jimmy Howard’s legs, the lead was there as well.
The second period was all Red Wings. Detroit put as many shots on net in the second frame than the Kings did in the entire game. The Kings solid penalty kill was put to the test when rookie defenseman Alec Martinez took 2 consecutive penalties, separated by only 11 seconds.
After two successful kills, Oscar Moller sucked even more wind out of Detroit’s sails by sneaking a rebound chance behind Howard.
If there was any hope left in Detroit after a frustrating two periods, Anze Kopitar smashed it when he tallied just 23 seconds into the 3rd. The Kings caught Detroit on a change as Williams sent a pass in for a streaking Brown. Howard turn away his shot but Kopitar deposited the rebound to give the Kings a 3-0 lead. The Kings big center wasn’t done , potting another goal a little over 2:30 later.
Jack Johnson put the Kings up a commanding 5-0 just over 6 minutes into the 3rd. Quick stopped all 51 Detroit shots, a career best. The strong shutout victory was an important bounce back for Quick who had two terrible giveaways in his last start against Minnesota, both leading directly to goals. Quick showing he can bounce back in such a way bodes very well for the Kings confidence in him moving forward.
Willie Mitchell brought his good mojo back with him, suiting up for his first game after missing 14 due to a broken wrist. Most importantly, the Kings best defenseman was playing like it tonight. Detroit Coach Mike Babcock complimented Doughty’s talents before the game and Doughty responded with a performance fitting of those comments. He finished the game with 3 assists, including one on the (hold your breath) power play! The Kings scored on their only power play of the game, after going an embarrassing 1 for 9 in their previous contest.
Kopitar’s 2 goals give him 29 points, good enough for the lead on the Kings. Quick’s 15 wins are 3rd best in the league, right behind his opponent tonight Jimmy Howard, and Carey Price.
Oscar Moller scored in his second game of the season. He has been playing on the right side of Stoll since Williams’s promotion to the top line. 10 different Kings registered a point in Detroit tonight. Jack Johnson scored the Kings power play goal on his only shot of the evening. He was an even plus/minus and remains a Kings worst minus-8, tied with Kyle Clifford.
Kevin Westgarth had the night off since Detroit doesn’t play an enforcer.
The Kings have won 4 of their last 5 and have points in 5 straight games.
The Kings, now 17-10-1, return to action on Thursday at 5pm PT in St. Louis. The Kings have yet to face St. Louis (14-9-5) this season.
About the Author
Written by Eric Cooney
Eric Cooney was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. He shares his thoughts on the NHL as one man who is a northerner, southerner, east coaster, and west coaster. Follow him on Twitter @EricCooney