LOS ANGELES — During a matinee contest at Staples Center on February 6, the Los Angeles Kings set a franchise record with their ninth consecutive win, coming back from a 3-0 first period deficit to defeat the once mighty Detroit Red Wings, 4-3, in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,118 fans.
As they have many times in Saturday afternoon games, the Kings came out flat, gift-wrapping three goals for the Red Wings in the first period.
Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg opened the scoring at the 8:44 mark, taking a pass from line mate Pavel Datsyuk and, while all alone in front of the net, easily tapped the puck past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick, who had no chance.
Just sixteen seconds later, Detroit center Valtteri Filppula banked a backhand from the left circle in off of Kings defenseman Sean O’Donnell to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.
Zetterberg was left unchecked again in front of the net where he knocked in a rebound at the 19:55 mark to give Detroit what appeared to be an insurmountable 3-0 lead heading into the second period.
But the Red Wings have been anything but invincible this season, even when they have a considerable lead, and this game was no exception.
At the 9:16 mark of the second period, Kings winger Alexander Frolov his thirteenth goal of the season (but just his fourth in the last 22 games), after the Wings coughed up the puck in their own zone. Frolov was at left crease when he whacked the puck past Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard.
Kings center Michal Handzus took advantage of a mishandled puck by Howard, who lost the puck at left crease. Handzus poked it away from him and then backhanded it under Howard’s left leg pad and into the net at 14:47.
Kings left wing Ryan Smyth scored his eighteenth goal of the season at 16:21, finding a loose puck during a scrum in front of the Detroit net. Smyth got his stick on the puck and backhanded it over the pile of humanity in front to tie the game.
The Red Wings re-asserted themselves in the third period, outshooting the Kings in the period, 11-6, but Handzus struck again for his fifteenth goal of the season at the 17:39 mark, giving the Kings their final margin of victory.
The win moved the Kings into fourth place in the Western Conference, ahead of the Phoenix Coyotes. Both teams have 75 points in the standings, but the Kings have one more win. The Kings are also ten points behind the conference-leading San Jose Sharks, and are eleven points ahead of eighth-place Nashville. They are also 23 points ahead of the Edmonton Oilers, who are in the Western Conference cellar.
- The Kings have now won a club record nine games in a row.
- The club record for most consecutive games with a point is eleven (9-0-2), set in 1973-74.
- The Kings are 11-1-0 in their last twelve games.
- the 1974-75 team (32-11-15, 79 points).
- The 2009-10 team is the fastest Kings club to reach 36 wins.
- The last time the Kings trailed by three goals in a game and won was March 5, 2009 vs. Dallas (down 3-0 and won 5-4 in overtime).
- The Kings are now 20-8-3 in one-goal games.
- Handzus (two goals, one assist for three points) recorded his second straight three-point game. He has four goals and four assists for eight points in the last five games. He also scored his team-leading sixth game-winning goal (the Kings record for game-winning goals in a season is nine).
- Jonathan Quick has won nine straight and is 14-3-0 in his last seventeen games. He is also one win away from tying Mario Lessard for the club record in wins for one season (Lessard had 35 in 1980-81).
- Smyth has points in four straight games (two goals, two assists, four points). He has five goals and four assists for nine points in the last ten games.
- Frolov (goal, assist) recorded his second straight multi-point game.
- Anze Kopitar’s eight-game point streak (which tied a career high) was snapped.
Audio Interviews (raw, unedited)
Michal Handzus (2:50)
Dustin Brown (4:49)
Terry Murray (7:26)
Game Highlights From NHL Video On YouTube
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