LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- With the largest crowd to watch a hockey game in California cheering them on, the Los Angeles Kings finally found the passion to record their first playoff win in nearly eight years.
Jozef Stumpel redirected Mathieu Schneider's shot to snap a third-period tie and Felix Potvin made 22 saves as Los Angeles ended a 13-game postseason losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.
The Kings won their first postseason game since taking the opener of the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals with the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, on June 1. However, they trail their Western Conference quarterfinal series, two games to one.
Held without a shot in Game Two, Stumpel got his stick on Schneider's shot through traffic with 6:47 remaining.
"We wanted to go after them more," Stumpel said. "Everyone knows how we have to play in the playoffs. In the first two games, we didn't do it. Tonight, we did. It's great to get the streak off our backs."
Luc Robitaille scored twice for Los Angeles in its win over the Canadiens and more than seven years later gave his team its first lead in this series with his 51st career playoff goal 8:21 into the second period.
"We didn't think about the streak," Robitaille said. "We just wanted to win tonight's game. I'm the only guy left from '93. I got a couple of them then, too.
"Our guys came out and everybody came out hard tonight. We had everybody on board and that's why we won. I mean, you're not going to beat a team like that if you don't have all of your guys playing their best game. That's what we did tonight."
Robitaille got off a quick slap shot from the outside of the left faceoff circle, sending the puck over the outstretched right leg of Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood.
A little less than 10 minutes later, defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom tied it with his first playoff goal, but Detroit suffered its first opening-round playoff loss since a 3-2 defeat at Phoenix on April 26, 1998.
"They came out strong and played a real consistent game," Red Wings defenseman Larry Murphy said. "We didn't create the opportunities we needed to to win. They set us down pretty good. That was the big difference tonight -- we just didn't get the scoring opportunities."
The Red Wings' NHL record of 13 straight first-round playoff game victories came to an end. They also lost to a team from California for the first time in 19 postseason contests. Detroit again was without injured stars Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan.
After hosting a Los Angeles Lakers game earlier in the evening, the Staples Center drew a record 18,478 fans for the Kings, who were two defeats away from tying the NHL record for consecutive playoff losses, set by the Chicago Blackhawks from 1975-79.
Los Angeles had lost six straight playoff games at home and could have tied the NHL mark with another setback.
In the first two games of the series, the Kings had been outmuscled by Detroit, especially in the first five minutes of each contest.
On Sunday, Los Angeles was the much more physical of the teams, who played Saturday night in Detroit. The Kings outhit the Red Wings, 50-34.
"We felt we got steamrolled in Detroit, literally, and we had to play harder," Los Angeles coach Andy Murray said. "That was the bottom line. We had to play harder and more physical. Along with that, we had to play smarter as well. We had some good efforts out there. A lot of intensity and a lot of emotion."
Robitaille had a scoring chance in the opening minutes but his shot hit the right goalpost and went past the crease between the goal line and Osgood.
Los Angeles had a two-man advantage for almost two minutes in the second period following penalties to Detroit wingers Darren McCarty and Kirk Maltby but recorded only one shot.
The Kings missed more chances in the second period when Red Wings right wing Pat Verbeek drew a double-minor for hitting Kings defenseman Mattias Norstrom in the face with his stick. But they managed just two shots on the power play and are 0-for-34 with the man advantage since the start of last season's first-round sweep at the hands of Detroit.
However, Los Angeles did contain the Red Wings' power play, which had scored five times in 10 chances over the first two games. Detroit had the man advantage with less than four minutes left in the game but mustered just one shot. It finished an 0-for-7 night.
"I felt we were more assertive there tonight," Murray said. "I thought we tried to dictate there tonight. We tried to get into their shooting lanes more than we did. They're still scary every time they get a power play because of the people they have out there. But I thought we were doing a lot more dictating than receiving."
"I think they controlled the rebounds better tonight," said Detroit coach Scotty Bowman. "I thought we played hard. (The travel) was tough on both teams. We just couldn't put it in the net like we did last game."
Asked if his team missed Yzerman and Shanahan, Bowman said, "I don't know. I think we played a pretty decent game."
Osgood made 22 saves.