Red Wings force OT on Larkin’s game-saving play, but fall 5-4 to Kings

Detroit News

Detroit – The Red Wings earned a point Monday, thanks mainly to the will and determination of Dylan Larkin.

Now, Los Angeles eventually earned the extra point in the 5-4 overtime victory, but the Wings wouldn’t have been able to even secure the one point if not for Larkin’s diligence.

Los Angeles forward Viktor Arvidsson was about to ice the game with an empty net goal with just under a minute left. But Larkin had other indeas.

Larkin skated down the ice and poked the puck away from Arvidsson as the Kings’ forward was just about to slide the puck in. The Wings regained possession and you sort of knew what would happen next.

Oskar Sundqvist scored with 40.9 seconds left in regulation, tying the game and forcing overtime after wrapping a puck around Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick.

“That was amazing,” said Red Wings forward David Perron, who had two goals and an assist. “We had to come through for him. At the end of the year, we might look at that and it might add up for the guys.”

Larkin had a good feeling himself something positive was going to happen.

BOX SCORE: Kings 5, Red Wings 4 (OT)

“When I got close (to Arvidsson) I was trying not to take a penalty,” Larkin said. “We got it away and after that I could feel we were going to get one (goal). It’s a big point (in the standings), we’d like to have gotten two but against an established team, it’s a gutsy effort.”

Kings forward Phillip Danault scored his second goal of the game, banking a puck off Filip Hronek at 1 minute, 12 seconds of overtime, giving Los Angels a 5-4 overtime victory.

Still, coach Derek Lalonde was pleased to earn the point and the seeing Larkin’s persevarance.

“Awesome, it was an amazing play,” said Lalonde of Larkin’s game-saver. “He never gave up on it. I just think it’s a good message for everybody.

“Just the entire game we couldn’t get momentum off our goals. Three times we scored and they scored immediately after, but to come back three times and score late and get a point, it’s a pretty good sign. Giving up four goals is too much and we have to continue to clean those things up. But for effort and resiliency, pretty good sign.”

Anze Kopitar broke a 3-3 tie poking in a loose puck in the crease past goaltender Ville Husso, Kopitar’s first goal this season, at 13:16 of the third period. Kopitar dove to the ice and pushed the puck into the net, after Husso had stopped Adrian Kempe’s shot but left the puck free.

That had the look of a game-clinching goal right there for the Kings.

But Larkin’s hustle gave the Wings one more chance, and Sundqvist took advantage of it, giving the Wings five of a possible six points for the three-game in four-night stretch to open the season.

“It’s great to see five out of six but we can’t be satisfied,” Perron said. “We have to keep pushing.”

Kopitar’s goal came just after the Wings had tied the game with their first power-play goal of the season.

More: Red Wings’ Tyler Bertuzzi out 4-6 weeks with upper-body injury

Perron scored his second goal of the game and third of the season, at 11:14, tying the game 3-3 in the third period.

The Wings had gone goal-less in 10 power-play opportunities and had failed on the first three attempts Monday. But Perron took a pass from Filip Hronek, settled near the dot, and snapped a shot past goaltender Jonathan Quick.

“I sure thought we could improve our pace on the power play and you could see it start happening,” Perron said. “Kubes (Dominik Kubalik) had a great look at the net (earlier) and we probably should have had one there. We kind of were pushing from there.”

Adam Erne opened the Wings’ goal scoring.

Husso stopped 31 shots, while the Wings continued to excel on the penalty kill. They killed all four Kings power plays are are now a perfect 12-for-12 on the season.

“It’s being aggressive,” said Lalonde of the penalty killing success “They’re hitting their triggers, there’s great buy in. It was a weird game, with huge momentum swings. The PK gave us huge momentum, and it was a huge emphasis of ours going into (training) camp.

“So far, it’s done real well.”

Gabe Vilardi, Kempe, and Phillip Danault added Kings goals, while goaltender Jonathan Quick had 29 saves.

Erne opened the scoring with his first goal of the season. Erne gathered a loose puck and skated up wing on a two-on-one with Pius Suter. But Erne kept the puck and sniped a shot from the hashmarks past Quick, giving the Wings a 1-0 lead at 4:26.

But the Kings quickly answered with Vilardi scored his third goal. Vilardi used Moritz Seider as a screen and snapped a shot that got through Husso at 4:45.

The Kings regained the lead before the end of the period. Kempe, off a rush, beat Husso high at 14:40 for his fourth goal of the young season.

After the Wings failed on two consecutive power plays, they evened the game back at full strength.

Kubalik, who replaced Bertuzzi on the Wings’ top line, whiffed on a shot but regained the puck and fed Perron open across the slot for a one-timer at 9:15.

But the Kings answered again, this time with Danault’s first goal.

“We still want two (points) but it’s a good first weekend of hockey for us,” Larkin said. “Just the way we played, it wasn’t perfect all the time through the first three games but the way we approached every period and every game, there was a lot of positives.”

Twitter: @tkulfan

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