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GAME: Los Angeles Kings (35-23-5) at Detroit Red Wings (41-15-5).
TIME: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Los Angeles Kings are surging as the NHL season starts winding down.
The Kings look to extend a season-high five-game winning streak and shake their recent struggles against the Detroit Red Wings when they visit the Western Conference leaders.
The Kings beat Minnesota 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday for their third win in as many games since the Olympic break.
Lubomir Visnovsky scored the game-winner for Los Angeles, which is tied with Vancouver for sixth place in the conference, two points ahead of eighth-place Edmonton. The Kings also are a point behind Colorado for fifth and two back of Calgary for fourth.
"Everyone played great today. The two points were very important," said Visnovsky, whose 58 points are one shy of Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom for the NHL lead among defensemen.
Los Angeles' five-game win streak is its longest since winning six in a row from March 11-23, 2002, also the last year it beat Detroit.
The Kings have lost nine in a row against the Red Wings and, including a tie in the meeting before that streak began, have not won in this series since Oct. 12, 2002.
Los Angeles has not won in Detroit since Feb. 18, 2000, losing seven games and earning one tie at Joe Louis Arena in that span.
Jeremy Roenick and Tom Kostopoulos also scored Tuesday for the Kings, who have won each of their last five by one goal. All of Los Angeles' last three wins have been 3-2 victories.
Kostopoulos, who scored the game-tying goal in the third period Tuesday, has seven points in his last six games.
"I've sat out a few games so it was nice to put up a few points and help the team," Kostopoulos said.
The Kings killed off three power plays Tuesday and have 13 straight successful penalty kills over their last four games after allowing at least one power-play goal in 11 consecutive games.
The Red Wings have scored with the man advantage in three straight.
Detroit, though, has split four games after going into the Olympic break on a six-game winning streak.
The Red Wings lost 5-2 to the Phoenix Coyotes on Tuesday for just their second defeat in 10 games. Pavel Datsyuk and Brendan Shanahan each scored for Detroit, which outshot Phoenix 37-24.
Lidstrom became the 14th defenseman in NHL history to record 600 assists.
"Too bad it didn't happen during a win," said Lidstrom, who joined teammate Chris Chelios and Boston's Brian Leetch as the three active defensemen with at least 600.
STANDINGS: Kings - 75 points, 2nd place, 10 PB, Pacific Division. Red Wings - 87 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Pavol Demitra, 22 goals; Visnovsky, 42 assists; Craig Conroy, 59 points; Sean Avery, 211 PIM. Red Wings - Henrik Zetterberg and Shanahan, 29 goals; Datsyuk, 48 assists and 70 points; Chelios, 94 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Kings - Power play: 15.4 percent (64 for 415), 25th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.6 percent (305 for 388), 28th. Red Wings - Power play: 23.3 percent (80 for 344), 1st. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (302 for 355), 5th.
GOALTENDERS: Kings - Mathieu Garon (26-15-3, 2 SO, 3.00 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (9-8-2, 3.26). Red Wings - Manny Legace (26-8-2, 5, 2.18); Chris Osgood (14-5-3, 2, 2.78).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 28; Red Wings, 5-2. At Los Angeles, Jimmy Howard was recalled from Grand Rapids of the AHL to replace the injured Legace and made 22 saves in his NHL debut.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 14-14-4 on the road; Red Wings - 20-9-2 at home.
|Mar 09 '06||LAK 3 at DET 7|
|Nov 28 '05||DET 5 at LAK 2|
|Nov 09 '05||LAK 4 at DET 5 - OT|
|Oct 13 '05||DET 5 at LAK 2|
Ticket Info: 313.471.7575
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