Kings-Red Wings Preview
With their opponent in a dreadful offensive slump, the high-powered Detroit Red Wings would appear to have a prime chance to extend one of the longest home win streaks in team history.
The Los Angeles Kings, though, have been successful recently at Joe Louis Arena.
The league's lowest-scoring team faces arguably the NHL's hottest offense as the Kings try to win their fourth straight in Detroit and deny the Red Wings a 10th consecutive home victory Saturday night.
Detroit's current nine-game home win streak is its best since a 13-game run Dec. 20, 2006-Feb. 21, 2007. It matches the seventh-longest the franchise has ever had, scoring a whopping 43 goals while allowing 13.
While the Red Wings (19-10-1) have averaged an NHL-best 3.85 goals since Nov. 18, the Kings are worst in the league in that span at 1.58 per game. They have netted a league-low 66 goals this season, including two or fewer in 10 consecutive contests.
Los Angeles (14-13-4), though, has won its last three games in Detroit by a combined 10-3 score. The only visiting teams currently with longer win streaks at Joe Louis Arena are San Jose and Chicago.
However, in the lone meeting this season, the Red Wings won 4-1 in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 as Pavel Datsyuk scored two goals.
The Detroit winger has stayed hot since that game with five goals and 14 assists over 12 subsequent contests, and two points in each of his last four. Datsyuk, though, has a combined two points over his last six home games against the Kings.
His two assists helped the Red Wings take a 3-1 lead Thursday in Nashville, but they allowed two goals in the final 4:24 and lost 4-3 to have a three-game win streak snapped.
"It's disappointing, especially having the lead going into the third," said captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who ended a 16-game goal drought.
Disappointment is a feeling Los Angeles (14-13-4) has known all too well this month. The Kings were at risk of a season-high sixth consecutive loss Thursday, trailing league-worst Columbus in the third, but scored twice in a 3:39 span of the period to win 2-1.
Dustin Brown assisted on Davis Drewiske's second career goal and scored the game-winner with 11:48 to play, giving John Stevens his first win in two games as interim coach. Los Angeles was previously 0-12-1 when trailing after two periods.
"We have to be happy about this win," defenseman Drew Doughty said. "... We've got to get on a roll and make up for all those games that we've lost."
Howard has a league-best 18 wins and a 1.90 goals-against average, while Quick owns a 2.09 GAA.
Kings center Anze Kopitar has five goals and five assists over his last seven matchups with the Red Wings.