LOS ANGELES – Cal Petersen stopped all 21 shots he faced in his first start in more than a month, Phillip Danault and Drew Doughty scored in the first period, and the Los Angeles Kings rolled to a 4-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
“I guess, typical coach, you want our team to play that way throughout the whole night, and we fell off a little bit after that — but a tremendous start. On our toes, getting to a lot of loose pucks, winning faceoffs, playing the way we wanted to play,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.
Adrian Kempe scored short-handed, Trevor Moore added an empty-net goal and Los Angeles won for the third time in four games.
Alex Nedeljkovic allowed three goals on 40 shots for the Red Wings, who have lost four in a row on the road.
“We’ve had some bad starts, we’ve had some good starts,” Detroit captain Dylan Larkin said. "I think one thing that jumps out is we haven’t put 60 minutes of good hockey together on the road, and we have to find a way to do that, start to finish.”
Petersen was solid despite rarely being challenged in his first game since allowing four goals in a Dec. 6 loss at Vancouver. Jonathan Quick had reasserted claim to the starting job, and a stint in COVID-19 protocol last month kept Petersen off the ice. But he again looked like the future in net for Los Angeles, posting his second career shutout.
“It’s been the longest I’ve gone in a season between games and so that was a new challenge for me, something I had to work through and find ways to get my mind right,” Petersen said. “Every day, it’s just been preparing for the next opportunity and trying to take advantage of that, so I’m glad it worked out. And the guys played a great game in front of me, too, which really helped me out, so great night all around.”
Los Angeles dominated the first period, taking a 2-0 lead while outshooting Detroit 27-2. The shot total matched the franchise record for any period, which was set on Jan. 7, 2010, also against the Red Wings.
Danault put the Kings ahead 6:27 into the game, chipping in a rebound by Arthur Kaliyev for his sixth goal just after a power play expired.
Doughty extended the advantage at 9:06, burying a slap shot through traffic for his fourth goal. He has one goal and three assists during a three-game point streak.
That was more than enough for Los Angeles, much to the chagrin of Larkin. He picked a fight with Danault on the ensuing faceoff after the Kings went up 2-0, but it wasn't enough to dig the Red Wings out of the hole.
“We weren’t ready to go,” Larkin said. “We come in here and dip our toe in the water. Can’t play like that on the road. … We just weren’t ready to bring the battle to them.”
PICK IT UP
There was a considerably stronger showing on special teams after McLellan called out that part of Los Angeles’ game following a frustrating 4-2 loss to Nashville in which the Kings controlled the even-strength play. They killed off both penalties after conceding a power-play goal in four straight games coming out of the Christmas break, and Kempe scored his team-leading 15th short-handed late in the second period.
McLellan was especially pleased with the willingness to block shots and get pucks out of the zone on the penalty kill. “It did its job, starting with the goaltender,” he said.
NOTES: The 25-shot disparity in one period tied the largest in the NHL this season. Florida outshot Washington 27-2 in the third period on Nov. 30. ... Los Angeles has scored four short-handed goals. Kempe has two of them, Moore and Blake Lizotte have the others. … Kings F Dustin Brown had two assists. … Kings D Olli Maatta played for the first time since Dec. 19 at Washington after being on the COVID-19 list. … Red Wings D Filip Hronek played in his 200th career game.
Red Wings: Visit the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday.
Kings: Host the New York Rangers on Monday night.