Blueliner Jonathan Ericsson lifts Red Wings over Kings
Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson knocked in a goal with 4.5 seconds left to help the Detroit Red Wings pull off a nail-biting 3-2 triumph over defending Stanley Cup champions in front of 20,066 fans at Staples Center.
The game looked headed for overtime after Kings blueliner Alec Martinez netted the equalizer with 52.8 seconds left but Ericsson quickly ripped a slap shot from the right point that went past Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick and into the net.
Ericcson tallied his second goal of the year while netminder Jimmy Howard recorded 45 saves as the Red Wings grabbed their third straight win to improve to 7-4-1.
It was Howard’s best performance since stopping 51 shots on Jan. 7, 2010 against the Kings. He started in 11 of 12 games this season due to injuries to veteran goalies Jonas Gustavsson and Joey MacDonald.
Pavel Datsyuk and rookie Damien Brunner also scored in the first period to give the Red Wings a 2-0 advantage.
Anze Kopitar contributed a goal while Quick stopped 31 shots for the Kings (3-5-2), who have lost four of their last five games.
In the first period, Datsyuk took a pass from Henrik Zetterberg going over the Los Angeles blue line, split a pair of Kings defenders and then roofed the puck over Quick for a power-play goal and a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Brunner doubled the lead at 17:28 with a shot from the right circle for his sixth goal of the year.
Kopitar got one back for the Kings with just 40.3 seconds left in the period, getting to the front of the net and converting the rebound of a point shot by Rob Scuderi.
The two teams struggled to score in the next two periods before Martinez tied the game with his first goal of the season.