The Detroit Red Wings started their west coast road trip against the Los Angeles Kings. Initially, they were slated to play the Anaheim Ducks, but due to Covid-19 issues, their game was moved to Sunday, so they’ll be playing back-to-back. The Kings are a good team, and it was just an abysmal showing from a Red Wings team that lost two of their last three games.
Well, things got interesting extremely early into the first period. Drew Doughty threw a big hit on the rookie Lucas Raymond in the neutral zone, and off of faceoff in the Red Wings defensive zone, only a minute and a half in, the Red Wings forgot to cover Brendan Lemieux in front of the net, and he put the puck in the net. But actually, he didn’t! After review, it was clear that the puck never completely crossed the red line, and instead, it just slowly moved from the far post to the near post and backed up through the crease.
The Kings would carry the momentum into a power play due to a tripping call on Joe Veleno. A great play in front to get rookie Arthur Kaliyev the puck created a scrum, and Phillip Danault cashed in right as the penalty expired. It was 1-0 Kings very early.
The Red Wings continued to be smothered in their own zone, and Doughty blasted a slapshot from the point past Alex Nedeljkovic to make the score 2-0 just under three minutes later. At this point, it was complete domination. The Kings had two goals on 14 shots, while the Red Wings had zero. So, Dylan Larkin decided to take it into his own hands by cross-checking Danault on the center ice faceoff and dropping the mitts. He got the extra penalty, but Pius Suter generated a breakaway chance shorthanded that Cal Petersen stopped with his right-handed glove.
The Red Wings killed off the Larkin minor, making the Kings 0/2 on the power play. Despite a great chance by Tyler Bertuzzi attempting to bank the puck off the goalie, the Kings controlled the majority of the play. With 4:03 remaining, Nedeljkovic made a sprawling save on the Kings’ 23rd shot of the game.
A few more chances came and went for the Kings, and the shot differential got even wider at 27-2. It was an awful period for the Red Wings, and it was honestly a miracle that they crawled out of the period only down by two goals.
A little over four minutes into the second period, the Red Wings doubled their shot total. It went from two to four! They got a power play, and after the puck left the offensive zone, Nedeljkovic left the crease to play the puck. He ran into Trevor Moore at the blue line, and the puck was fired into the net from the neutral zone as he tried to go back into the net. The goal was waved off for goalie interference.
It just appeared like there was no way the Red Wings could get shots through. The Kings were getting in nearly every lane that the Red Wings created for shots. The number of shot attempts was low, but they also couldn’t get anything through to begin with.
The Red Wings got another man advantage with slightly over five minutes remaining in the period, and they had some good puck movement in the offensive zone, but it didn’t matter in the end. Kings forward Adrian Kempe broke away from the defense and scored a shorthanded goal over the blocker of Nedeljkovic to make the score 3-0.
The second period came to an end, and even though the Red Wings showed that they could possess the puck for more than two seconds, it was still a disaster of a period. The shot difference remained high at 35-12.
Nick Leddy drew a holding penalty, and a scrum ensued along the boards. Nothing came of the power play, just like nothing has all night both on the man advantage and even strength. The play seemed to even out as the frame moved along, and the Red Wings were actually leading the shots in the period at one point. They couldn’t score, but it was a step in the right direction.
The Red Wings pulled their goalie, Moritz Seider made some great moves through the neutral zone with the puck, and they got some good possession, but in the end, Moore put the puck in the empty net to make the game 4-0.
And that was all, folks. Mercifully, the game ended. The Kings doubled the Red Wings’ shot total at 42-21. Those numbers are a pretty good summation of what went on tonight. It was abysmal all around, and the Red Wings are going to need a big bounce-back game against a Ducks team that also took a loss to the New York Rangers tonight.
One good thing is that despite some pretty horrendous defense from the team in front of him, Nedeljkovic managed a .927 save percentage. He saved 38 of 41 shots and had a pretty decent night that was lessened by a couple of breakaways and scrums in front where he couldn’t reach the puck.
Seider’s sweet move towards the end of the third period made everyone who stayed up for this absolute monstrosity of a hockey game smile for once during the action.
In the end, it wasn’t good. A couple of bad things happened, and the game got less and less in favor of the Kings as the game went on, but there was virtually no threat from the red and white. It was abysmal, and no one will be happy about it in the Red Wings locker room. Let’s just hope we see a better team tomorrow.
That’s all from me, everybody. Go Red Wings!