Los Angeles Kings' Wayne Simmonds, left, and Detroit Red Wings' Henrik Zetterberg (40), try to gain control of a loose puck in the first period.DETROIT — Dustin Brown scored with 5:17 remaining in the second period and Jonathan Quick made 28 saves in the Los Angeles Kings’ 2-1 victory over the slumping Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night.
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Anze Kopitar also scored for Los Angeles in the second after Darren Helm opened the scoring for the Red Wings in the first. Detroit has lost four straight and trails Vancouver by nine points for the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Kings, meanwhile, continued their push in the middle of a jumbled race for playoff positions in the West. They are 13-3-4 in their last 20 games.
Quick improved to 10-3-1 in his last 14 games.
Los Angeles took the lead when Brown scored on a power play. Alec Martinez’s shot from the point was actually deflected twice — by Alexei Ponikarovsky and then Brown — on its way into the net. Detroit fans voiced their displeasure, because it appeared Nicklas Lidstrom had been high-sticked immediately before the goal.
It was Brown’s 22nd goal of the season.
Quick made the lead hold up. He stopped Valtteri Filppula’s shot from the slot with 8:29 left in the game. Henrik Zetterberg also had a chance to tie it in the final seconds but couldn’t beat Quick from a severe angle.
Quick made a nice save early in the first period, stopping Jiri Hudler’s shot from just to the left of the goal. The goalie was less fortunate when Helm’s shot slipped through his legs and trickled slowly across the goal line.
Detroit outshot Los Angeles 11-3 in the first period and seemed on the verge of increasing its lead in the second, but Quick made a glove save on Kris Draper’s backhand, and then robbed Niklas Kronwall from point-blank range.
The Kings tied it with 12:10 left in the second when Dustin Penner took a soft shot from the left boards. Jimmy Howard left a rebound, and Kopitar was able to put the puck in for his 21st goal of the season.
Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty staggered to the bench early in the third period after being caught in the face by Todd Bertuzzi’s elbow while the Red Wing — playing without a stick — was trying to clear the puck from his own zone. Doughty was able to return.
NOTES: Detroit D Brian Rafalski (back) was scratched. ... Los Angeles killed two penalties, running its streak to 15 straight. The Kings have killed 58 of their last 63 penalties. ... Helm’s goal was his 10th of the season.