Fresh off their biggest offensive output of the season, the Detroit Red Wings begin a brief two-game road trip Wednesday, when they visit the streaking Los Angeles Kings. After blanking the Nashville Predators on Saturday to snap a five-game winless streak, Detroit lit up Roberto Luongo in an 8-3 triumph over the Vancouver Canucks the following evening. Damien Brunner recorded two goals and two assists while rookie Joakim Andersson also scored twice.
Los Angeles enters having won four games in a row and six of its last seven. The Kings kicked off their three-game homestand Saturday with a 4-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche before erupting for three goals in the third period en route to a 5-2 win over the Pacific Division-leading Anaheim Ducks two days later. Slava Voynov snapped a 2-2 tie at 4:46 of the third period and fellow defenseman Jake Muzzin added a power-play goal less than two minutes later as Los Angeles ended Anaheim's six-game winning streak.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2, FSN (Detroit)
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (9-7-3): The two-goal performances by Brunner and Andersson were the first of their careers. Andersson, whose goals came 52 seconds apart late in the third period, had one tally in his previous eight NHL games. Brunner raised his goal total to 10, overtaking Pavel Datsyuk for the team lead. The 26-year-old Swiss star also is in his first year in the league but does not qualify as a rookie due to his age. Detroit will be without center Valtteri Filppula, who has a sore left shoulder, but right wing Johan Franzen is expected back after missing five games with a hip flexor. Defensemen Brendan Smith (shoulder) and Kyle Quincey (ankle) also could return to action.
ABOUT THE KINGS (9-6-2): Los Angeles is hoping to avenge a heartbreaking loss at Detroit on Feb. 10. After spotting the Red Wings a 2-0 lead, the Kings battled back to get even, with defenseman Alec Martinez scoring the tying goal with 53 seconds remaining in the third period. However, Detroit blue-liner Jonathan Ericsson tallied with 4.5 seconds left to deny Los Angeles a point. Right wing Jeff Carter enters with a four-game goal-scoring streak, while captain Dustin Brown has scored in each of his last three contests. The Kings parted ways with Simon Gagne, trading the left wing to Philadelphia for a conditional fourth-round pick in this year's draft. Gagne, who spent the first 10 years of his career with the Flyers, notched five assists in 11 games this season.
1. The home team has won the last four meetings after the road club captured the previous four.
2. The Red Wings have won 13 of their last 17 visits to Los Angeles.
3. Detroit is just 2-3-2 on the road, while Los Angeles owns a 4-1-1 home record.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 5, Kings 3