DETROIT – The Los Angeles Kings showed their mettle in a big game.
Brad Richardson’s tiebreaking goal with 7:57 left capped Los Angeles’ rally from a two-goal deficit and lifted the Kings to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Los Angeles moved into a tie for sixth place in the Western Conference, three points ahead of eighth-place Detroit.
“It’s a great feeling for this young group of guys to come in and play the Detroit Red Wings in a significant game that they came out on top in,” Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said.
Richardson added an assist, and Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists for the Kings. Peter Harrold also scored, Wayne Simmonds had two assists, and Jonathan Quick made 31 saves.
“They’re right behind us in the standings, and just to push them a little further down, it definitely makes a difference,” Kopitar said. “Hopefully it’s going to pay off in the end.”
Valtterri Filppula and Todd Bertuzzi scored for Detroit. Jimmy Howard stopped 30 shots.
“We had a good chance to gain a couple points on these guys, and after the first 10 minutes we stopped skating,” Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We got outworked. The whole second period it felt like we spent in our zone. They carried most of the game.”
Richardson tipped in his seventh goal of the season on Scott Parse’s cross-crease pass for the winner.
“Great play by Parse,” Murray said. “Simply go to the net and keep your stick on the ice.”
Harrold tied it 2-2 6:27 into the third period with a wrist shot from the slot. It was Harrold’s first goal.
“Everybody was piled up in front,” he said. “There was a lot of net on the left side, so I just floated it in there.”
Kopitar put Los Angeles on the board 1:55 into the second period when he put a loose puck in the crease into an empty net for his 20th goal.
“We just kind of threw it on the net, and Richie got the rebound and was able to chip it over him,” Kopitar said. “We were there.”
The goal was the result of Detroit defenceman Jonathan Ericsson’s giveaway in his own zone.
Filppula opened the scoring 5:29 in with his fifth goal. He took a pass from Dan Cleary in the high slot, skated to the bottom of the left circle and beat Quick high on the short side.
Bertuzzi made it 2-0 about two minutes later with a 5-on-3 goal. Brian Rafalski’s shot from the point deflected in off Bertuzzi’s leg for his 15th goal. It was originally credited to Rafalski but changed before the end of the period.
NOTES: A man was on a conduit above a catwalk for a time at the start of the second period. Almost an entire section of stands in the lower bowl was cleared out when the man was noticed. The man was eventually removed and fans were allowed to come back to their seats. … Detroit C Kris Draper, a Canadian, lost a bet to American teammate, D Brett Lebda, on the world junior championships in which the U.S. defeated Canada in overtime in the gold medal game earlier this month. Draper paid up during Saturday’s morning skate when he wore a customized Team USA jersey with Draper’s name on the back and his No. 33. … Los Angeles D Jack Johnson was born in Ann Arbor and played at the University of Michigan. Kings D Matt Greene is a native of Grand Ledge, Mich. … Detroit surrendered a two-goal lead for the third time in four games.