By Christy Hammond
After a close 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday evening, the Detroit Red Wings (31-7-6) went into LA (17-20-6) and shut out the Kings 4-0. The Wings have now earned at least one point in the last 10 games, a season best. Ty Conklin earned his fifth season shutout, and first on the road, with the win. Detroit limited LA to just three shots in the second period.
It was quite the night for the fourth line as both Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby tallied a goal and an assist. Maltby was a healthy scratch against the Ducks so he certainly made his presence known Thursday night. Draper talked to the Associated Press about Maltby getting scratched on Wednesday and how he bounced back a day later.
“As a player, you’re never happy with it. And if you are, you shouldn’t be in this game,” said Draper, who has been Maltby’s teammate since the 1995-96 season. “Malt’s a proud man and he’s got a lot of pride. That’s what makes him such a good professional. He handled it the right way.
“Sure you get teed off. So when you get a chance to come back in, you want to make sure it doesn’t happen again. You want to come back and respond and take those thoughts right out of the coach’s head. Tonight was good for him. He’s played a lot of great hockey games for this organization.”
Maltby opened the scoring at 7:40 in the first frame when Draper stole the puck from Denis Gauthier behind the net and dished it to an open Maltby right by the crease. Just over nine minutes later, some slick tic-tac-toe passing from the likes of Henrik Zetterberg and Jiri Hudler on the power play resulted in Johan Franzen tallying his 20th goal of the season.
Hudler also assisted on Detroit’s next goal by Mikael Samuelsson 9:43 into the second stanza. Sammy one-timed his shot on the Hudler pass scoring with an open net. Draper posted his third goal of the season, but his first non-empty netter at 13:59 into the second period.