Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) is checked by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey (27) during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
DETROIT — Tomas Tatar scored and Jimmy Howard stopped all three shots he faced in a shootout, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings tonight.
The Red Wings, who lost their two previous games 1-0, received a big break late in regulation.
Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall’s shot was deflected and bounced off the net out of play, came back and struck goalie Jonathan Quick’s back, and went in to tie the game with 26.1 seconds left.
The Kings tried to protest, but the goal wasn’t reviewable because none of the officials blew a whistle to stop play when the puck hit the net.
Los Angeles took the lead when Jeff Carter scored off a rebound during a power play with 2:15 left in the third period.
Quick and Howard — two of the three U.S. Olympic goalies — bumped into each other and had a heated exchange during a stoppage in play midway through the second period.
Howard roughed up Kings forward Kyle Clifford when he went into the crease, then Howard and Mike Richards shoved each other and were called for roughing. Howard then skated toward his bench during a break, Quick stood in his way to say something, and the two had to be separated.
Howard finished with 30 saves. Quick stopped 33 shots.
Richards broke a scoreless tie at 9:06 of the second, and Henrik Zetterberg tied it 41 seconds later in the period.
The Kings went ahead on a power play, but Dwight King was penalized for holding onto the puck with 1:45 left in regulation. That proved to be costly.
The Red Wings avoided getting shut out in three straight games for the first time in the regular season, and the first time since the 1945 Stanley Cup finals against Toronto.
Zetterberg’s goal ended a scoreless streak that lasted 152 minutes, 21 seconds and dated to last week’s win against the Kings.
Richards, who hadn’t scored in 23 games, put Los Angeles up 1-0 with a power-play goal. His shot from the right circle went off the stick of Detroit defenseman Kyle Quincey and Howard’s mask before entering the net.
Zetterberg made it 1-all with a shot from the slot off a pass from Gustav Nyquist, who threaded the puck between teammate Justin Abdelkader’s legs.
The Red Wings started a season-high, five-game homestand, and they hope that is good news.
Detroit, which had won only one of its last eight home games, started today with an NHL-low six home victories this season. The Red Wings won for just the second time in nine shootouts.
They were without seven skaters who would have been in their lineup if healthy, including Pavel Datsyuk for the sixth straight game because of a lower-body injury. Detroit coach Mike Babcock said the team has players making “millions and millions,” that never seem to play.
The Kings, who had won two straight, are two games into a five-game trip. They have lost five straight at Joe Louis Arena.
NOTES: Tatar returned from a one-game absence to attend his father’s funeral and replaced Mikael Samuelsson. ... Kings D Matt Greene was scratched for a second straight game because of an upper-body injury. ... Datsyuk isn’t expected to play Monday against St. Louis.