By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings advanced to 22-6-4 with a 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Kings (13-14-6). After allowing LA to score a goal just 1:46 into the game, Detroit responded with two straight goals of their own in the first period.
Pavel Datsyuk tallied his third goal in two games 8:40 into the first. Just 3:42 later, defenseman Andreas Lilja took a hard slapshot from the point and scored his first goal of the season and first in 81 games. Datsyuk had won the faceoff and sent the puck back to Lilja for the assist. A goal by LA’s Frolov rounded out the first period with the score even at two goals apiece.
With only 1:20 remaining in the second, Mikael Samuelsson pounced on a rebound off of captain Nicklas Lidstrom‘s shot to score his sixth goal of the season and first in 11 games. But the lead was to be short lived as former Wing Kyle Calder put in a rebound of his own only 16 seconds after Samuelsson’s goal.
LA’s last goal of the evening came 2:25 into the final frame of action from the bottom of the right circle after Dustin Brown and Jarret Stoll had a 2-on-1 breakaway. It took almost 14 more minutes, but the Wings eventually got back on the board thanks to a goal by forward Jiri Hudler.
Hudler would contribute to another Detroit goal just 2:09 later when he (1) assisted on Dan Cleary‘s game-winning goal and (2) screened LA goaltender Jonathan Quick’s vision for Cleary’s shot. The goalie made an impressive 35 saves in just his fifth NHL game, but couldn’t stop Cleary’s shot from along the left boards.
Center Kris Draper cemented the Detroit victory with an empty netter at 19:36. Lidstrom would earn his third assist of the night on Draper’s goal giving No. 5 the sole eighth place spot among NHL defensemen in terms of points and assists. Congrats to Lidstrom for a great achievement!
Detroit plays next on Tuesday, Dec. 23, when the St. Louis Blues
come to town.