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Datsyuk helps Wings snap out of funk

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Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, left, stretches for the puck ahead of Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov (26) in the third period of an NHL hockey game in Los Angeles on Saturday.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Detroit Red Wings snapped a five-game, road-losing streak behind strong goaltending by Jimmy Howard and offense from players who had been struggling to score.

Pavel Datsyuk ended a 12-game drought with a pair of goals, Justin Abdelkader scored for the first time in 15 games, and Niklas Kronwall netted the go-ahead score during a power play in the second period, leading the Red Wings to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

"It was very important, especially after the way we started the last couple of games," captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We weren't happy with the way we were playing, but today we stuck to our game plan for 60 minutes. We wanted to hang onto the puck, especially in their zone, try to grind their D and get some shots with traffic in front of their goalie."

Howard gave up four goals on 21 shots Thursday at San Jose and was pulled after two periods in a 5-2 loss. He got back in goal Saturday and made 23 saves, including one on a penalty shot by Anze Kopitar at 11:06 of the second period with Detroit leading 2-1.

Tomas Holmstrom had two assists for the Red Wings, who haven't lost six straight road games since December 1987.

The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead at 7:08 of the second period when Holmstrom carried the puck from behind the net and fed Kronwall in front while Rob Scuderi was off for slashing Zetterberg.

Brendan Smith, playing in his second NHL game following his promotion from Grand Rapids of the AHL, recorded his first point with an assist on Abdelkader's goal at 15:38 of the second as the Red Wings made it 3-1. It came seven seconds after Smith finished serving a hooking penalty.

NOTES: Detroit RW Todd Bertuzzi returned after missing six games because of a sinus infection that left him dizzy and light-headed. ... Detroit is the only visiting NHL team to win at Los Angeles in each of the last nine seasons. San Jose can match the Red Wings this season.

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