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NHL on NBCSN: Kings, Red Wings fight to stay hot

Feb 27, 2013, 9:05 AM EDT

Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Los Angeles Kings host the Detroit Red Wings at the Staples Center at 10:00 p.m. ET.

At first glance, the Los Angeles Kings might look like underperformers, but that’s not entirely fair.

They endured one of the roughest schedules for the first month of play. Only four of their first 17 games were at home and under those harsh circumstances, almost any team would have had trouble doing more than treading water.

That stretch is over now and the question is how they will hold up in the Staples Center. They have already comfortably beat the Colorado Avalanche and Anaheim Ducks, but sweeping this three-game home set with a win tonight will be a challenge.

Injuries have worn down the Detroit Red Wings this season more than almost any other team. At the same time, they’ve shaken off their recent struggles with commanding victories over the Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks.

On top of that, Detroit should get Johan Franzen (hip flexor) back for this contest, according to the Detroit Free Press.

They have looked like a vulnerable team for much of the season without retired future Hall of Famer Nicklas Lidstrom. Still, they’ve proven that – at least on some nights – they’re still the same dangerous Red Wings that have commanded the respect of their opponents for decades.

Probable goaltenders: DET- Jimmy Howard (8-6-2, 2.88 GAA, .901 SV%) | LAK – Jonathan Quick (6-5-2, 2.42 GAA, .906 SV%)

Top scorers: DET – Henrik Zetterberg (6-19-25, 19 GP) | LAK – Anze Kopitar (5-10-15, 16 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Detroit – Forwards: Valtteri Filppula (shoulder), Mikael Samuelsson (finger), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Darren Helm (back) Defensemen: Kyle Quincey (ankle), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Brendan Smith (shoulder) Goaltenders: Jonas Gustavsson (groin)
Los Angeles – Defensemen: Alec Martinez (upper body), Willie Mitchell (knee), Matt Greene (back)

Related:

Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Reacquired Gagne looks to lead Flyers past Capitals

  1. polegojim - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    I’m starting to like the Wings direction – the youth are finding their place, the lines are gelling, and the cream is rising to the top.

  2. hockeydon10 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I like this from the article:

    Probable goaltenders: DET- Jimmy Howard (8-6-2, 2.88 GAA, .901 SV%) | LAK – Rask (6-5-2, 2.42 GAA, .906 SV%)

    Rask? I didn’t hear about his trade out of Boston.

    • manchestermiracle - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      Yeah, beat me to that one by a couple minutes. Wouldn’t that have been some kind of news on here?

  3. scoregasmic - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Brunner has been a pleasant surprise this season, I knew he was going to be good but I didn’t expect him to be this good

    • anonymouslyanonymouscommentor - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM

      He is very talented and a much needed offensive-weapon for us, but he still has a lot to learn. He tries to get too cute and more than a few times this season it has led to the other team putting the puck in the back of the net. I think he’ll be great for us, but he still needs to learn to play like a Red Wing.

  4. kingsforever - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Kings win. Barring a dominate-all-game-barely-score-let-in-GWG-within-5-seconds type game again

  5. lionstigersandwingsohmy - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    While the last two games have shown great output, I would say that a two game winning streak is not “hot”, especially after the loosing streak prior. Peel off a few more before that word is applicable. I also concur with above statements about Brunner and would like to add that if the D was stronger, you wouldn’t mind him taking the chances he does.

  6. blomfeld - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    GIVE ‘EM HELL !

    For a whole host of reasons, we Kings need to seriously “put the boots” to these people. Not so much because the Red Wings are a bad team, but more so to reassert our glorious and righteous place as reigning Stanley Cup Champions. Hopefully 5 or 6 past Howard isn’t asking too much ? … though it sure would be nice to see us get into double digits for a change …

    GO KINGS GO !!! :) :) :)

  7. thehighcountrybear - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:02 PM

    This is rounding into a great season for Wings! As he did with the Ducks in 2002 2003, Babcock is exploiting through necessity, a harrying and relentless skating game augmented by fresh, fast and hungry kids looking to stay with the big club. No fantasies about Cup chances, but an ideal time for player development while other teams scramble to appease impatient fan bases and local hockey markets. Aaaaaah, the luxury of immeasurable depth, and insanely efficient and productive scouting. In the present, they better be at their skating best or Kings will likely avenge the last disaster. Good for Wings, Howard loves playing in LA…

  8. loyallakingsfan35yrs - Feb 27, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    Let’s Go Kings!

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