LOS ANGELES -- The Detroit Red Wings hustled through one two-man disadvantage, then a second. The third began their downfall Wednesday night.
A near 4-minute stretch in the second period at Staples Center was some of the gutsiest hockey the Wings have played this month, but one too many Kings' power plays left the Wings with a 2-1 loss as they head to San Jose on Thursday night.
Anze Kopitar scored the winner with just under 5 minutes left in regulation, shortly after Wings defenseman Brendan Smith skated off after taking a hit by Dustin Penner.
Kyle Quincey scored in the first period. Jeff Carter tipped in the tying goal on a two-man power play midway through the third period.
The Wings took three consecutive penalties just past the midway point of the second period, all but gift-wrapping a tying goal for the Kings. But the Wings took away the Kings' tape, denying players so many touches of the puck Jimmy Howard only had to make three saves the entire 3:45 the Wings were shorthanded. And that was with two of the team's best penalty killers in the box, as Pavel Datsyuk followed in Jonathan Ericsson's ruts.
The Wings couldn't have had a much stronger start: They practically owned the puck, batting it around L.A.'s zone with such efficiency Jonathan Bernier had seen 10 shots by the midway point of the first period. One beat him: Quincey's shot -- and it's generous to call it a shot -- went in off Bernier's mask as Slava Voynov tried to outstick Jordin Tootoo for the puck.
The power play didn't convert through two opportunities in the opening period, but at least the Wings got good looks, especially Niklas Kronwall, who tested Bernier with a rocket from the blue line. The end result was a first period that saw the Wings outshoot the Kings, 13-5.
Bernier had trouble corralling the puck after stopping a shot by Datsyuk in the second period, and left a Joakim Andersson rebound tantalizing open for the Wings a bit later, but no one could get there in time. Then came the penalty parade, leaving Bernier with little to do but watch the action in the other end for the last half of the second period as the Wings concentrated on keeping the Kings scoreless.
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