Work in Sports
LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Shutouts, shootouts and tight-checking games, the Detroit Red Wings have defeated the Los Angeles Kings almost every way possible.
Sergei Fedorov and Tomas Holmstrom scored power-play goals and Chris Osgood made 21 saves as the Red Wings put Los Angeles on the brink of elimination with a 2-1 victory.
Nicklas Lidstrom had a pair of assists for Detroit, which took a three games to none lead in the Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Two days after winning an 8-5 shootout, the Red Wings took their second tight game in the series. Without ailing captain Steve Yzerman, they posted a 2-0 victory in Game One behind 19 saves from Osgood.
"Each game has been tight," said Yzerman, who led Detroit to Stanley Cup titles in 1997 and 1998. "We haven't had much of an edge. You can't lose any of your edge because that would be the difference in the game."
Tonight, Detroit led 2-0 after two periods and held on in front of Osgood, who again was rarely tested. He made a fine save with 5:15 left, when he slid from left to right to deny rookie Brad Chartrand in front.
"They play a pretty tight game," Kings captain Rob Blake said. "But when we have eight power plays and you don't score, you're going to have a tough time winning games."
Luc Robitaille scored the only goal for the Kings, who have lost 11 straight playoff games, including five in a row at home, since the 1993 Western Conference finals. They were 0-for-8 with the man advantage.
"If you have a bad day at the office, you still have to go to work the next day," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "But we'd better have a good day Wednesday or we won't be going back to work Thursday."
The fourth-seeded Red Wings will have a chance to end the series on Wednesday at Los Angeles.
"They're a great team," Robitaille said. "That's why they won the Stanley Cup twice."
Fedorov opened the scoring during a 5-on-3 advantage, netting his 40th career playoff goal and second of the series at 5:21 of the first period. He completed a tic-tac-toe play by beating goaltender Stephane Fiset from the low slot.
"I just try to work my positioning and get my opportunities," said Fedorov, a former Hart Trophy winner. "I felt when I saw the puck coming that it would be an easy play and no one would stop it."
The goal came 22 seconds after Blake was called for high-sticking. Jozef Stumpel already was in the penalty box for roughing.
"You can't take that, it's not a good penalty," said Blake, the 1997-98 Norris Trophy winner. "That wasn't what I was trying to do in there, but you can't take a penalty when you're down a man. Detroit will beat you every time you do that."
Unchecked in the low slot, Holmstrom made it 2-0 with 5:20 left in the second, redirecting Lidstrom's slap shot from the point through Fiset's pads.
Detroit was on its fifth power play after Bryan Smolinski was called for high-sticking.
"It was a pretty hectic start and I give a lot of credit to Holmstrom in particular," Red Wings coach Scotty Bowman said. "He takes a lot, but he's a gritty player."
The Red Wings were 2-for-7 on the power play after going 3-for-7 in Game Two.
"They've got two power-play units of five that are as good as most teams' No. 1 power-play units," Murray said. "The idea is to try and not put them out there very much. We gave them again a few too many opportunities tonight."
"It's an important part of our game and we sort of strive on it because we know we have guys who can skate and guys who can read plays," Fedorov said. "We just try to help each other and use our skills."
Robitaille halved Los Angeles' deficit 2:35 into the third, when he took a feed from Stumpel and quickly snapped a shot through Osgood's pads from the left hashmark.
But the Kings were unable to get the equalizer, failing on a power-play chance in the final five minutes.
Trailing 1-0 at 3:57 of the second period, the Kings received a four-minute power play when Darren McCarty was called for tripping and unsportsmanlike conduct. But they managed only one shot.
"That's a game-winner," Blake said of the four-minute advantage. "They score on two of their power-play opportunities and we go 0-for-8. That's pretty much the game."