LOS ANGELES (Ticker) — Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg may
have sealed the win, but it was Valtteri Filppula who helped the
Detroit Red Wings keep their winning streak alive.
Datsyuk and Zetterberg both tallied in the shootout after
Filppula evened the score late in regulation as the Red Wings
skated away with a 4-3 victory against the Los Angeles Kings on
Trailing, 3-2, in the final minutes of the contest, Filppula
scored with 1:54 remaining to tie the score for Detroit, which
has won five straight games, the last two coming in shootouts.
“It was one of those games where you have to find a way to win,”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I thought for the last 10
minutes, we really tilted the rink. We had a lot of
opportunities and eventually we forced a turnover and we were
able to bury one.”
Kings defenseman Denis Gauthier had the puck behind his own net
and started to carry it out. Instead of sending the puck up the
boards and out of the defensive zone, Gauthier attempted to pass
to a teammate in the center of the ice. Filppula intercepted
the pass in the right faceoff circle and beat Jason LaBarbera on
his right side with a wrister from point-blank range.
“When you’re up a goal with a minute-and-a-half left, you’d like
to be able to get those two points,” LaBarbera said. “They were
pressing us in the third and I thought we did a pretty good job
holding the fort down. It was just one bad break and they
capitalized on it.
“We definitely can skate with them. When they start pressuring
us, we need to stick to our systems and keep it simple.”
In the bonus format, Datsyuk scored on LaBarbera with a
backhanded shot over the goalie’s left pad on Detroit’s first
opportunity and Zetterberg handed the Red Wings the victory with
a similar move.
LaBarbera fell for a fake by Zetterberg, who pulled the puck to
his right and backhanded it into a wide open net for the
“It’s good for the confidence,” Zetterberg said of his shootout
tally. “It’s important to get out to a great start. Even
though we haven’t played our best, we’re getting our wins. One
of the things we can improve on is the defense, and I think we
took a step forward in that today.”
Zetterberg opened the scoring in the first period and Marian
Hossa also tallied for the Red Wings.
The 28-year-old left wing, Zetterberg scored his fifth goal of
the season 5:54 into the opening frame. He took a pass from
defenseman Brian Rafalski and netted a wrist shot from 20 feet
A power-play goal by rookie Oscar Moller midway through the
first period evened the score and Kyle Calder’s first goal of
the campaign gave the Kings a 2-1 lead just over a minute into
the second period.
“We did some good things. We showed a lot of competitiveness,
we worked very hard and we showed intelligence,” Los Angeles
coach Terry Murray said. “We found people at the right time.
We were against one of the premier teams and did a good job.”
Hossa extended his current consecutive points streak to seven
games and pulled Detroit even on a 5-on-3 power play just before
the midway mark of the second period.
The Slovakian carried the puck into the offensive zone,
splitting the Kings’ defense He fired a wrist shot past
LaBarbera’s stick side for his fifth goal during his surge.
Alexander Frolov gave the Kings the lead 46 seconds into the
third period when he cut to the net from the boards and tried to
backhand the puck across the slot. His centering pass bounced
off the right foot of defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and past
goaltender Chris Osgood, who finished with 16 saves.
“It was kind of a tough, cheesy goal that goes in,” Babcock said
of the Kings’ third goal. “You just stay determined.”