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Consecutive defeats by three-goal margins at home have hurt the Los Angeles Kings' confidence. A matchup with the Detroit Red Wings may not help.
The Red Wings, beginning a four-game road trip, look to continue their recent dominance of the Kings when the teams meet at Staples Center on Monday.
Los Angeles (2-3-0) is coming off back-to-back 4-1 losses to the Dallas Stars at home. Saturday's defeat dropped the Kings to 2-2-0 at Staples Center.
"The team is a little bit fragile," Los Angeles coach Marc Crawford said. "We're not playing with a lot of confidence at this point in the game."
It's been hard for the Kings to feel confident against the Red Wings (2-1-1) for the last few years.
Detroit is 9-0-2 in the series since losing 3-2 in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 2002. The Red Wings outscored the Kings 22-11 to go 3-0-1 against them in last season's series.
Detroit, though, is coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday.
Jason Williams had both Red Wings goals, giving him three for the season. He had a goal and three assists against the Kings last season, and has three goals and four assists in 11 career games versus Los Angeles.
Nick Lidstrom picked up his team-high sixth assist and Danny Markov earned his first point as a Red Wing on Williams' first goal Friday. Lidstrom, who played in his 1,100th career game, has at least one point in each of the first four games this season.
Lidstrom had two goals and four assists against the Kings in the 2005-06 season series.
Detroit left wing Johan Franzen got his second assist of the season on Williams' second goal. He didn't record his first assist last season - his rookie year - until Dec. 31. Two of his 12 goals last season were against Los Angeles.
The Red Wings continued their struggles on the power play Friday, going 0-for-8. They are 2-for-24 for the season with the man advantage.
"Anyway you look at it, we have to execute on the power play," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said.
The Kings were 1-for-16 on the power play in the back-to-back games against the Stars, leaving them 5-for-45 with the man advantage this season.
"We know there are teams with more talented players," Crawford said. "In order to compensate and bring that level down to where it's not as much a factor in games, you've got to make sure you're beating them in other areas."
Mathieu Garon made 24 saves Saturday in his second start. Last season he had 31 wins, tying Felix Potvin (2001-02) for the third-highest total in franchise history behind Mario Lessard's 35 in 1980-81 and Rogie Vachon's 33 in 1976-77.
Garon was 0-2 with a 4.55 goals-against average against Detroit last season.
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