LOS ANGELES (Ticker) -- Jason Allison is "unelegant" but effective.
Brad Chartrand had the other goal for Los Angeles, which is 2-0 for the second time in coach Andy Murray's four-year tenure. The best start in team history was 4-0 in 1988-89.
"No, we're not using this game as a measuring stick," Murray said of facing the defending Stanley Cup champions. "To me, it's how our team plays, not our opponent. I can't see any team in this league that we can't beat without our full effort."
Allison opened the scoring 27 seconds into the game, but Detroit's Kris Draper tied it just under 13 minutes later.
Chartrand put the Kings in front for good with 3:38 to go in the opening period, and they held on to extend their home unbeaten streak against the Red Wings to five games (4-0-1).
"I think we have played well against all of the top teams last year," Allison said. "I think that we have a great team and that we are playing great. But the one thing that would be a little better is that when we have an early lead, we could be a little stronger."
Brett Hull had a power-play goal and an assist for Detroit, which suffered its first loss under coach Dave Lewis.
"A couple of instances, we have to show more restraint. It has to start now, more restraint," Lewis said. "It's a physical game out there. You are going to get clutched and there's grabbing and there's elbows and sticks up, especially when you are playing from behind. You have to show that extra restraint because you can't afford to put the other team on the power play."
The Red Wings gave Los Angeles, the NHL's top-rated power play last season, eight chances with the man advantage.
"They're good, they're very good," Detroit goaltender Curtis Joseph said. "They probably will have one of the more physical teams in the West. They sure played that way tonight. They are gritty."
Allison got the sellout crowd at Staples Center into the game early, grabbing a carom off the end boards and flicking it past Joseph.
"Where's all the seamless glass they're supposed to have?" Joseph asked. "The puck hit a spot and came right out front. Those things even out over time, but it's tough to start out like that."
Allison's second goal came on the power play in the final minute of the opening period. Joseph stopped defenseman Jaroslav Modry's point shot but left a long rebound that came to Allison at the left faceoff dot. Allison one-timed it over Joseph's right shoulder and under the crossbar.
"He is the most unelegant top player in the NHL," Murray said. "But boy, is he a good player. He missed training camp last year and had to adjust to a new coach with a different type of intensity. Now he has had a chance to play in the system."
Hull's power-play tally got the Red Wings within 3-2 with 14:04 to go in the third period. But Potvin had to face just five shots over the final 20 minutes.
"The level of energy was not real high at the end of the game. Both teams were really drained," Murray said. "It was a physically demanding game and similar to so many games we have against them, playoffs or regular season."