Los Angeles Kings defenseman Alec Martinez (27) scores the game-tying goal against Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who came up big when the Red Wings needed him most Sunday.
DETROIT — Jimmy Howard may have needed every stop in play he could get. Maybe a shot of oxygen. Possibly a stiff drink, too.
After Howard stopped 45 shots in Detroit’s 3-2 win Sunday against Los Angeles, there was some amazement as to how the Detroit Red Wings’ goalie was able to maintain his play. “I felt really rested out there,” Howard said.
Howard said he benefited from a 23-save performance in a 2-1 win on Saturday against Edmonton. He got a night off when former Toledo Walleye goalie Petr Mrazek made 26 saves in a 5-1 win on Thursday at St. Louis.
The Kings outshot Detroit by nearly a 2-1 margin (38-20) through the first two periods as Howard made 23 saves in the second.
“They [Los Angeles] did a great job of getting on top of us and turning pucks over,” Howard said. “They just kept coming and throwing pucks at the net. Actually, we did a great job of limiting their opportunities. They were pretty much just one shot and done, and against a big, strong team like that, it’s important to get them to the outside.”
Detroit outshot Los Angeles 11-9 in the third — including Jonathan Ericsson’s game-winning goal with 4.5 seconds left in regulation.
“Howie made some great saves, one after the other, and I thought in the third period, we really settled down and got playing again and competed real hard,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Howie gave us an opportunity to hang in there.”
750 AND COUNTING: Babcock coached his 750th NHL game Sunday. He is 428-220-102 in his career with Anaheim and the Wings, and is 359-158-69 in eight seasons in Detroit.
THE DOCTOR IS IN: NBC broadcasted the matinee, with Mike Emrick on the call for the network.
One of hockey’s most recognizable broadcasting voices, Emrick earned his Ph.D. in radio, television, and film from Bowling Green in 1976.
Z-FACTOR: With two assists against the Kings, Henrik Zetterberg has scored at least a point in Detroit’s last four games.
After Sunday, Zetterberg has a point in nine of Detroit’s first 12 games.
MACDONALD ON WAIVERS: Detroit placed goalie Joey MacDonald on waivers on Sunday. If he is not claimed by noon today, he will be assigned to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.
MacDonald played 39 games in two seasons (2001-2002 and 2005-2006) with the Toledo Storm.