Red Wings-Kings Preview
The Detroit Red Wings have scored some timely goals to remain unbeaten on their longest road trip of the season.
The Los Angeles Kings, meanwhile, haven't generated much offense of any kind lately but could face struggling goaltender Jimmy Howard when they attempt to earn a rare win over the Red Wings on Monday night.
Riley Sheahan scored with 3:44 remaining as Detroit (22-13-7) moved to 4-0-0 on its six-game trek with a 2-1 win against Anaheim on Sunday. The Red Wings have won each of those contests by one goal and have scored the go-ahead goal in the final seven minutes or later in three of them.
Tomas Tatar kicked that off by finding the net with 2:50 to go in a 4-3 win over Buffalo on Jan. 2.
"When you can get wins like this in close games and work really hard to get them, I think it's huge for us and builds your confidence," Sheahan said.
Detroit has outscored Los Angeles 16-9 while winning five of the last six matchups and prevailed 3-2 Nov. 20.
Dylan Larkin recorded the key goal in the second period and scored his team-leading 14th in last Monday's 1-0 win in New Jersey.
The Kings (26-12-3) have produced a combined six goals in their past four games after totaling 18 in their previous four. Anze Kopitar had his team's tally in a 2-1 shootout loss to St. Louis on Saturday, Los Angeles' second defeat in three games since a string of five consecutive wins.
"We just have to bear down on our opportunities," defenseman Jake Muzzin said. "We had good looks and good shots, some point-blank shots and some second and third ones. And if we capitalized on those, there would have been a different outcome to the game."
With Petr Mrazek having started in Anaheim, Los Angeles might have an opportunity to snap out of its recent woes with Howard in net.
Howard is expected to make his first appearance since getting pulled in a second straight game Dec. 29 in a 4-1 loss in Winnipeg. The former Red Wings starting netminder is 0-1-3 with a 3.77 goals-against average in his last five starts and hasn't earned a victory in three road starts since Nov. 21.
Howard has shined in his last six matchups against the Kings, however, going 5-1-0 with a 1.65 GAA, but his most recent was Oct. 31, 2014.
Kings starter Jonathan Quick earned a 1-0 win in his latest game with Detroit in February and the most recent matchup in Los Angeles. He was 2-8-1 with a 3.54 GAA in his previous 11 meetings.
The Red Wings have dropped three of their past four games at Staples Center.
Jeff Carter scored both of Los Angeles' goals at Detroit in November, giving him six goals and three assists in his last 10 matchups. Tatar, who scored his 13th goal Sunday, has three goals and one assist in his past five with the Kings.
Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg has two points in each of his last three games against Los Angeles and a combined 15 in his past 10.