Osgood stellar as Red Wings edge Kings

DETROIT (Ticker) — Chris Osgood shined in his return to the
crease after a nearly two-week hiatus for a “mental recharge.”

Osgood made 30 saves and Tomas Kopecky scored a key goal early
in the third period as the Detroit Red Wings posted a 2-1
victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Friday.

“It felt good,” Osgood said. “It’s just another phase in my
career. It’s just one game. I’m going to keep doing what I’ve
been doing in practice and stay in the right mindset. I just
have to make sure I don’t lapse back.”

Defenseman Derek Meech also tallied for Detroit, which has won
four of its last five.

Alexander Frolov netted a power-play goal and rookie Jonathan
Quick stopped 39 shots for the Kings, who lost for the fourth
time in five contests.

“I think we did some good things in the first period,” Los
Angeles coach Terry Murray said. “We managed the puck well and
was getting it on the net. Unfortunately, we made some passes
through the middle of the ice and that gave Detroit some
momentum on turnovers.”

Osgood has maintained a respectable record despite struggling
this season. The 36-year-old has posted a 19-5-7 mark and
entered this contest with a shoddy 3.29 goals-against average.

“The physical skills were always there,” Osgood said. “It was
just a matter of resetting my mind and just playing the moment.
Now this game is over. I’ve always been like that but for some
reason I got away from that the first half of the year.

“You can fill your mind with too many things and it’s hard to
play when you’ve got a lot of stuff in your head. I really felt
tonight like I was back to where I was in the playoffs. I
wasn’t thinking about anything when I was playing.”

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A 14-year veteran with three Stanley Cup rings, Osgood – who has
been getting challenged by Ty Conklin for the starting job – had
allowed three or more goals in nine of his previous 10

“I don’t want to think about goals anymore,” Osgood said. “I
just want to think about winning games and getting ready to go
down the stretch here.”

However, his stellar effort enabled the Red Wings to complete a
sweep of the season series with the Kings.

Meech opened the scoring by collecting a loose puck in the
crease it tapping it past Quick with 7:52 remaining in the
second period.

“Coming in and out of the lineup like I do, I just want to
contribute any way I can and I guess I contributed tonight,”
Meech said. “Our big guys have been doing such a great job all
year, but the great teams need that secondary scoring. I’m
fortunate I was able to score one tonight.”

Kopecky, who was a healthy scratch in Wednesday’s 4-1 win over
the San Jose Sharks, doubled the bulge at 1:43 of the third,
accepting a pass from Valtteri Filppula and firing a snap shot
into the vacant net.

“We played well,” Quick said. “They just ended up scoring one
more goal than us.”

Frolov cut the deficit in half three minutes later with a wrist
shot from the low slot, but Osgood was impenetrable the rest of
the way.

“You don’t just get lucky,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
“If you work hard good things happen to you. All the credit
goes to Ozzie. Tonight was a real positive showing for him. I’m
sure he feels good about himself. Now he can breathe a little
and not carry the weight of the world around.”