Game Preview: Desperate Kings Head to Detroit

 

It might be too early to throw the word "desperate" around but with the way things are going it feels appropriate. The Kings have gone from bad to inconsistant to consinstantly bad. A five game road trip has started 1-2 and both losses have been disheartening. The little momentum the Kings picked up against the lowly Blue Jackets was erased Thursday night suffering a 3-0 shutout loss in Nashville.The Kings (3-4-2; 8 points) travel to Joe Lewis Arena to play the Red Wings (6-4-1; 13 points) for a 9:30 AM nationally broadcasted game on NBC. Detroit is on a two game winning streak dominating the Blues 5-1 Thursday night and outlasting the Oilers 2-1 Saturday night. 

The Kings will have a new face on the roster aquiring defenseman Keaton Ellerby from Florida. Ellerby worked and skated with Drew Doughty the Associated Press reports. "I think we complement each other well," Ellerby said. "Obviously, he's a very offensive guy. He's always up in the play. I'm going to be back there, big body, banging guys around and being the physical presence, hopefully, in our pairing." The Kings gave the Panthers a fifth-round draft pick for the 10th overall selection of the 2007 draft.

With Ellerby hanging back look for Doughty to be even more aggressive tomorrow. The Kings offense has either been struggling or non-existent. With 2.11 goals per game the Kings are 25th in the league in scoring. Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, and the rest of the forwards have struggled in generating legitimate scoring opportunities. Doughty's impact in the offensive end is unparralled as a defenseman. Doughty's risky and aggressive skating has not produced goals but look for him to continue attacking the net with Ellerby hanging back and the rest of the offense struggling.

The Red Wings have the offensive fire power to blow games wide open. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg control and headline Detroit's attack. Datsyuk scored the first goal yesterday against the Oilers and set up Niklas Kronwall's game winner. Zetterberg continues to facillitate notching four assists in the pastfour games.

The Kings need a steady first period where they don't fall into a hole. Slow starts and playing from behind is a recipe for disaster.

 

Team Leaders:

 

 

Kings

Predators

Points

Simon Gagne: 5

Justin Williams: 5

Dustin Brown: 5

Henrik Zetterburg: 16

Pavel Datsyuk: 12

Niklas Kronwall: 9

Goals

Jeff Carter: 4

Dustin Brown: 3

Anze Kopitar: 3

Henrik Zetterburg: 5

Damian Brunner: 5

Pavel Datsyuk: 4

Assists

Simon Gagne: 5

Justin Williams: 4

Mike Richards: 4

Henrik Zetterburg: 11

Pavel Datsyuk: 8

Niklas Kronwall: 8

+/-

Jake Muzzin: 3

Justin Williams: 2

Slava Voynov: 2

 

Henrik Zetterburg: 5

Pavel Datsyuk: 5

Brendan Smith: 5

 

 

Team Stats:

 

 

  Goals/g

      GA

      PP

      PK

      S/G

       SA

     F/O

    Kings

    2.11

 3.00

 11.6%

 80.0%

 29.0

 24.6

 48.0%

Red Wings

 2.64

 2.73

14.0%

72.2%

 30.0

 28.0

 54.6%

 

Injuries: Kings - Willie Mitchell (Knee), Matt Greene (back) Red Wings: Todd Bertuzzi (back), Brendan Smith (back), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Darren Helm (back), Jan Mursak (collarbone), Mikeal Samuelsson (groin).