Anze Kopitar had a three-game goal streak snapped in Saturday’s loss.
The Los Angeles Kings are 3-1 in their last four games, with all four decided by one goal at home. Terry Murray’s troops begin a five-game road trip with Monday’s matchup against the Detroit Red Wings, who are 6-3 in their last nine contests.
Los Angeles ended its homestand with Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss as a 180 favorite against the Minnesota Wild. Kings netminder Jonathan Quick gave up a power play goal at 2:50 of the extra stanza from Minnesota’s Brent Burns, who connected with a 38-foot wristshot.
Quick stopped 18-of-21 shots, facing his fewest pucks in four games. The Connecticut native suffered his first overtime defeat of the year, moving his record to 14-5-1 (29 points) with a 1.92 GAA.
Kings right wing Dustin Brown notched his 10th goal of the season at 9:25 of the second period, tying the game, 1-1. The 26-year-old’s effort was answered back nine seconds later when Minnesota’s Cal Clutterbuck scored after a giveaway by Quick.
Brown went on to assist mate Ryan Smyth with a power play goal at 1:09 of the third period, evening the game’s tally, 2-2. Smyth ended a six-game drought without a goal, earning his 16th point of the year.
Kings center Anze Kopitar assisted with both of his squad’s goals, extending his streak of games with at least one point to four. The Slovenia native won 10-of-20 faceoffs, helping the Kings outdraw Minnesota in the circles, 37-31.
The tight battle’s combined five goals ‘pushed’ the closing ‘total.’ Los Angeles finished with 26 SOG, outshooting Minnesota in the second and third stanzas, 18-11.
The Kings are 5-8 in their first 13 road games, with the ‘under’ going 7-6. Kopitar and Co. have killed only 75.9 percent of their shorthanded stints in that stretch.
Detroit picked up its second straight win in Saturday’s 4-1 triumph as a 120 NHL odds favorite at the New Jersey Devils. The Red Wings were outshot, 34-23, while being outdrawn in faceoffs, 28-23.
Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk notched one goal and two assists. The 32-year-old extended his streak of games with at least two points to three, while winning 6-of-10 faceoffs.
Detroit’s Jonathan Ericsson assisted Datsyuk with his goal en route to finishing with a team-high seven penalty minutes. The defenseman’s infractions included a five-minute major for fighting with New Jersey’s David Clarkson during the second period.
Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood stopped 33-of-34 shots, allowing one power play goal from New Jersey’s Patrik Elias. Osgood improved to 3-2-1 (7 points) in his six backup outings, while lowering his GAA to 2.48.
Detroit’s starting netminder Jimmy Howard is expected to return in goal for Monday’s game, according to Yahoo Sports. The Syracuse native is 16-4-2 (34 points) in his 22 starts, with a 2.52 GAA.
The Red Wings are 11-3-2 (24 points) in their first 16 home games, with the ‘over’ cashing at 12-4. Mike Babcock’s crew has launched 35.3 SOG per game in that stretch, scoring on a sizable 22.2 percent of its power plays.
Los Angeles is 3-0 in its last three meetings against the Red Wings, with the ‘under’ going 2-1.
The Kings pulled out a 3-2 overtime win as 127 home favorites in a Dec. 4 duel between the foes. Kopitar finished with a team-high nine SOG for Los Angeles, including his squad’s game-winning strike. Osgood logged 22 saves for Detroit, while his mates were outdrawn in faceoffs, 40-22.
Monday’s rematch at Joe Louis Arena is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (PT), with Versus providing the national television coverage.