The LA Kings did not deserve to raise their arms in victory tonight, but the refs made sure they'd have plenty of chances against the Detroit Red Wings.
After blowing a call on a head shot to Dan Cleary towards the middle of the third period, and then missing another to Brendan Smith not two minutes later, Anze Kopitar managed to put the home team ahead for the first time of the evening. This, of course, came after LA had three five-on-three power plays throughout the game and several blown calls in their favor.
That unearned and crappy Kings lead would stick and Detroit would end up on the losing end of a suddenly "hot" LA squad.
I can't believe the Detroit Red Wings lost this game. I really can't.
After securing a 1-0 lead on an odd goal from Kyle Quincey(!) the Red Wings were more or less forced to relent that lead and the points in this game. Dustin Penner got away with a nasty interference/head shot that all eight officiating eyes on the ice apparently missed while Dan Cleary was still being cleaned up on the bench after a head shot from Slava Voynov, and the Kings were handed their fifth straight victory.
As a side note, I'd like to ask the "ultra-dedicated" LA fans what it feels like to hear pro-Red Wings chants at their home games. It's a joke that Kings fans, on the heels of a Stanley Cup victory, can't paste together enough support to drown out a "ref you suck!" chant in the third while the game is on the line.
Regardless, the Wings could not have bought a victory tonight, which is unfortunate.
Smith made his triumphant comeback for about two periods before having his head taken off by an overweight, talentless and scratch-worthy player, and while the defense finally seems to be getting healthy for the luckless Wings, it didn't help tonight.
But I'm not going to lose any sleep over this one, because I know who the better team was.
Detroit played a full 60 for the first time in I don't know how long, and the effort was there. Jim Howard made several key stops, but our boys in Red and White just couldn't get through the combined effort of the Kings and the zebras this evening.
I still don't understand Datsyuk centering Abdelkader and Cleary, but what do I know.
I'm still fuming over this loss, but it's refreshing that I'm mad at the opposing team and/or the refs for somehow stealing a win instead of being pissed that the Wings left their collective effort in Detroit.