Game 49; 29-14-6
DETROIT - Despite the shootout loss, the Los Angeles Kings have now earned points in six of their last seven games. But let's be realistic: no one - and I mean no one - in Los Angeles is even remotely happy about the outcome of this contest. Outraged is a lot more accurate, to be honest.
After a scoreless first period where the Kings and Detroit Red Wings had eight shots each, the second had a little more excitement, although it was a frustrating frame for the road side.
At the 9:06 mark of the second, and with Los Angeles on the power play, Mike Richards ended his long scoring drought with his seventh from Slava Voynov to open the scoring. But just 41 seconds later, Henrik Zetterberg tied it with his 15th.
In that middle frame, Los Angeles outshot Detroit 16-9 but the game was tied after 40 minutes.
Late in the third (with 2:15 remaining to be exactly), and again with the Kings on the power play, Jeff Carter put his team-leading 18th past Jimmy Howard to give the silver-and-black the late lead. Mike Richards and Drew Doughty registered the assists. But the Kings found themselves shorthanded just 30 seconds later courtesy of Dwight King who closed his hand of the puck - and that's when controversy overshadowed everything.
On the power play, the Red Wings were pressing and with just under 30 seconds remaining in regulation, Niklas Kronwall took a point shot that sailed up into the air, off the back of Jonathan Quick into the net. Goal. Or was it? On the replay, the puck shown to have hit the mesh before coming back into the play. If that was the case, which it was, the play should have been, like it always has been, blown dead. But not so. The officials reviewed said play and somehow, unfathomably, let the goal stand. More on that later, though.
So, the game went into overtime and then to a shootout where the Wings won after Tomas Tatar scored and Mike Richards missed the net.
Having gone 2-for-4, Los Angeles's power play was certainly up to par and then some. Jonathan Quick hasn't missed a start since returning from injury and there is good reason for that as No. 32 was outstanding, turning away 33 shots en route to the "loss:. Yet, despite his efforts, he wasn't named one of the game's three stars. Also, as previously mentioned, the Kings do leave Motown with points in six of their last seven outings. But as positive as those points were, they are all overshadowed by the shoddy officiating that led the game being sent to overtime in the first place.
How any officiating crew (while still reviewing the play, mind you) can botch that any worse than that is beyond me and I hope to never see it again - not against any team.
In the risk of sounding bias, the Los Angeles Kings were screwed out of an extra point in this game and quite frankly, the officials should be downright ashamed of themselves. Yes, they're human and humans do make mistakes. But this was a colossal one that is just downright unacceptable.
Hopefully, the Kings can rebound on Monday as they visit Boston to take on the Bruins for a rare weekday matinee.