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Red Wings Game Recap...1/23

By: Channing Cummins

The Red Wings took on the L.A. Kings on Saturday night in a crucial Western Conference matchup. The Wings entered the game one point behind the Kings and still fighting for a playoff spot. The Red Wings' promising start was extinguished as they were defeated 3-2.

The first period brought hope for the Detroit fans as they seemed to dominate most of the period. Valtteri Filppula got things going early in the period with his fourth goal of the season. After receiving a pass from Cleary, Filps was able to walk into the zone and beat Jonathan Quick shortside. A 5 on 3 opportunity opened the door for the Wings as they were able to put their second tally on the board. Bertuzzi was able to tip Rafalski's shot from the point and beat Jonathan Quick and give his team a 2-0 lead after the first period.

It didn't take long for the Kings to get some momentum back as Anze Kopitar was able to score a tip in of his own nearly two minutes into the period. This proved to be key as the Kings never looked back for the rest of the game. The Kings managed to out shoot the Wings 11-7 in the second and gather some confidence as they entered the third.

As the third period began, one could only wonder what the third period would bring. The Wings have seen enough drama in the last few games as they've allowed back to back third period goals twice. Over six minutes into the period Peter Harrold's first goal of the year knotted things up. A somewhat broken play allowed Harrold to walk in and net in an open shot. As fans continued to watch they had to have a sense of Deja Vu, once again. With eight minutes left the inevitable happened. Brad Richardson tipped in a goal of his own giving the Kings their third goal, which proved to be the game winner.

A tough loss like this is nothing new for the Wings as they've experienced similar situations more than once in the last few games. One would think the Wings would be able to turn things around but it seems rather difficult. Keeping a lead is something the Wings need to focus more on and these recent losses could have easily been wins.

With Saturday's loss the Wings remain in the ninth spot, tied with Calgary who holds the eigth position in the conference. With their two points, the Kings were able to move up into the sixth spot, tied with the Predators. The Red Wings still remain within reaching distance of most of the Western Conference, as they all remain points within each other.

The Red Wings will face the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday night. The Coyotes hold a five point lead over the Wings and once again is another crucial game for the Wings. It seems like the team is one step away from putting a winning streak together, which might prove to be huge at the end of the year. Finishing strong before the Olympic break should be their main concern as they try to get themselves in the playoff bracket.


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