(Sports Network) - It took a while for the defending champions to heat up, but
the Los Angeles Kings will shoot for their fifth straight win when they host
the Detroit Red Wings in Wednesday's clash at the Staples Center.
The Kings went 16-4 during a dominating run to the franchise's first Stanley
Cup title last spring, but the team was just 3-6-2 this season before posting
wins in six of their last seven games.
During its current four-game winning streak, L.A. has outscored the opposition
by a combined 15-5 score. The most recent triumph came via a 5-2 home win over
the rival Anaheim Ducks, who entered that test on a six-game winning streak
of their own.
Slava Voynov, Jake Muzzin and Jeff Carter scored third-period goals to lift
Los Angeles past the Ducks on Monday. Voynov and Dustin Brown each had a goal
and an assist for the Kings, while Dustin Penner also lit the lamp.
Jonathan Quick made 24 saves for Los Angeles, which avenged a 7-4 loss to the
Ducks in Anaheim on Feb. 2.
"This one feels big, it's a division game, a team that's in second place in
our conference and a team that we want to eventually catch so to get two
points especially in regulation and have a third strong period like that it's
a big momentum booster for the club," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said.
The victory improved the Kings' home record this season to 4-1-1 and
Wednesday's test marks the finale of a three-game homestand. L.A. will visit
Vancouver on Saturday before returning to the City of Angels for another five-
game stretch as the host.
The Red Wings, meanwhile, also have seemed to turn things around recently, as
the club has followed an 0-3-2 slide with consecutive blowout wins at home.
Detroit posted a 4-0 win Saturday against Nashville and slammed Vancouver by
an 8-3 score the following night. Damien Brunner had two goals and two assists
to lead the Red Wings to Sunday's rout of the Canucks, who led 3-2 after the
first period before imploding.
"It's nice to get these two wins after losing five straight," said Brunner.
"We came out strong and everyone gave their best tonight. It's just about
putting hard work in and you'll get paid off."
Joakim Andersson had two goals while Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall
each posted a goal and two assists for the Red Wings, who set a season-high in
goals. Jimmy Howard posted 18 saves in the win and will start again on
Now the Red Wings will try to carry their recent success with them on the
road, where they are just 2-3-2 this season.
Detroit defeated the Kings in the first meeting between the clubs this season,
posting a 3-2 decision at Joe Louis Arena on Feb. 10. The Wings have claimed
four of five in this series overall, but have dropped three of five in L.A.
The Red Wings are expected to have Johan Franzen back Wednesday after the
forward sat out the last seven games with a hip injury suffered Feb. 10
against the Kings. He has three goals and six assists in 12 games this
Defensemen Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Kyle Quincey (ankle) are also expected
to play for Detroit, but forward Valtteri Filppula will sit out with a groin
injury suffered against Vancouver.
The Sports Network