|NHL Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Los Angeles Kings|
|Sunday, 14 October 2007 03:25|
King Size Wings
The Red Wings look to continue their dominance over the struggling Kings on Sunday night when they open a four-game road trip.
One of the league's elite teams for the past decade, the Red Wings have gotten the best of most opponents during that span. The Kings, though, have proven to be a particularly favorable matchup.
Detroit has won 13 of the last 14 meetings, including six of seven at Los Angeles. The Red Wings had won 12 straight in the series before that run ended with a 4-2 road loss on Jan. 6.
Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Detroit -170 money line favorites (NHL Odds) for today's game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 goals (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 73% of bets for this game have been placed on Detroit -170 (View NHL Bet Percentages).
Dominik Hasek has won five consecutive starts against the Kings while allowing only nine goals. He is 14-4-0 with two ties, two shutouts and a 2.03 goals-against average lifetime versus Los Angeles.
Detroit (3-1-1) had at least a point in each of its first four games until a 3-2 home loss to Chicago on Friday halted that streak.
Henrik Zetterberg and Kris Draper scored for the Red Wings, whose only two losses have come to the rival Blackhawks.
Undisciplined play hurt Detroit as Chicago scored twice on the power play, including Robert Lang's game winner in the third period. The Blackhawks were limited to nine even-strength shots, but registered 20 on eight power-play chances.
"The bottom line is any time you're going to the box as much as we were tonight, you're not using enough people and you're using all of your energy to kill penalties," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock told the team's official Web site.
Zetterberg's third goal gave him points in all five games this season. He leads the team with six assists and nine points.
After opening the season with four of five games at home, the Red Wings play four straight and seven of their next nine on the road.
"Now we're going to find out if we can win on the road," Babcock said. "I think that's really important to find out what kind of team you have."
The Kings (1-4-0) were unable to overcome another poor defensive effort in their fourth straight loss, 8-6 to visiting Boston on Friday.
Jonathan Bernier struggled in his third career start, yielding seven goals on 30 shots. Since a stellar NHL debut against Anaheim on Sept. 29, the 19-year-old goaltender has surrendered 11 goals in two starts.
"You just have to turn the page and get ready for the next game," Bernier said. "You are going to have games like this during the season. What makes the difference between a good and a bad goalie is bouncing back - and that's what I'm going to try to do."
Kings coach Marc Crawford could start Jason LaBarbera on Sunday, but he has also struggled in the early going, losing his only two starts with a 4.51 GAA.
Since a season-opening 4-1 victory over Anaheim, Los Angeles has surrendered 22 goals during its four-game skid. Among the league's worst defensive teams in 2006-07, the Kings have allowed an NHL-worst 23 goals this season.
Los Angeles has lost 10 of its last 12 games dating to last season.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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