(Sports Network) - The Red Wings failed to keep their foot on the pedal in their most recent outing. The Kings know exactly how they feel. Detroit tries to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss this evening versus Los Angeles at Joe Louis Arena. Second overall in the Western Conference with 86 points, the Red Wings seemed poised to end their five-game road trip with a victory in Phoenix on Saturday. However, Detroit allowed a trio of goals in the third period and lost an eventual shootout, 5-4, to the Coyotes.
made 32 saves for Detroit, which trails NHL-leading Vancouver by nine points and is just six up on Chicago for first place in the Central Division thanks to an 0-1-2 stretch. had a goal and an assist, while , and all scored.
"There gets to be a point in your season where you gotta decide if you think you're a championship-caliber team that there's a right way to play," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "And unless you get 23 guys doing it the same way and wanting to do it, nothing's going to happen."
The Red Wings had no such problems closing things out versus the Kings last Monday, routing hosting Los Angeles by a 7-4 margin. Detroit scored three times in the first period and added another three in the third frame before LA scored three times in the game's final 7:34. Howard made 35 saves on the same day he inked a new two-year contract extension, moving to 3-3-0 with a 3.19 goals-against average versus the Kings.
Detroit's victory snapped Los Angeles' four-game series winning streak and the club has bested the Kings in 14 of the past 18 meetings in Motown.
The Kings also failed to hold a late lead versus the Stars on Monday, giving up a pair of tallies in the frame in an eventual 4-3 overtime setback., and each tallied for the Kings, who dropped three of four to finish a six-game homestand with a 3-2-1 record. was beaten four times on 22 shots to take the loss.
"We're a team that, if we're going to make the playoffs, we're going to need to lock games like these down," Williams said. "We missed an opportunity to jump ahead of these guys in the standings. On the other side, we're going to make sure that that point isn't going to stop us from making the playoffs. We have a big road trip coming up so we're going to have to have a big push."
The Kings currently sit tied with Minnesota for eighth in the Western Conference with 77 points. Los Angeles will play its next four as the visiting club and hits the road for the first time since a 6-1-3 road trip from Feb. 1-23.should get the start tonight for the Kings and is 4-6-0 with a 3.07 GAA versus the Red Wings. He gave up six goals on 18 shots in 45-plus minutes of action in the last meeting.