Detroit’s chances of winning the Central Division seem to be wilting — the Red Wings are now seven points behind first-place St. Louis — but who will want to face the Red Wings in the first round of the playoffs? Presumably, by then they will have a handful of top players back from injury, including Nicklas Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Todd Bertuzzi and Jonathan Ericsson, and for most of this season, the Red Wings have been lethal on home ice. The Red Wings could have done some major damage to the Kings’ playoff hopes — both in a practical sense and an emotional sense — but the Kings played a solid game. Now, the Kings become big fans of the Red Wings. Detroit plays at Anaheim tonight, then heads north to face San Jose. Will the Red Wings give the Kings some help? Here’s how the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News covered last night’s game, followed by some additional postgame quotes from the Red Wings’ locker room…

Los Angeles 5, Detroit 2: Red Wings continue to stumble in March (Detroit Free Press)

Wings fall to Kings in Jimmy Howard’s return from injury (The Detroit News)

—–

COACH MIKE BABCOCK
(on the game…) “I didn’t think we played hard enough. I thought (the Kings) had a simple plan: get the puck in and get on the forecheck and grind it. I didn’t think we had enough resistance. … You’re not going to win with the approach we had tonight. … I thought we had a really good start to the second period and as soon as they scored a goal we got deflated and that was it for us. … I didn’t think we were competitive enough tonight. … I thought we matched up fine with the Kopitar line. I thought the Richards line got to do whatever they wanted and, in the end, affect our goal rotation.’’

(on Jimmy Howard’s return from injury…) “Not good enough.’’

—–

JIMMY HOWARD
(on the game…) “They played better on special teams than we did tonight. … It was a tough night for the special teams. … There were a lot of things I thought I could have done better. At the same time it was my first game back in a week and a half, so I have just got to continue to work hard in practice and get the rhythm back and feeling back of being out there. I thought the game was extremely fast in front of me, so I have to find a way to slow it down until I get back to the game speed of things… … We have got to find a way to win games and be better. Myself included.’’

—–

BRAD STUART
(on the game…) “We just had a bad first period. I thought (in the) second period we were a lot better, but at some point you have to make sure you’re ready to go from the start. You can’t be playing catch-up. It’s not winning hockey.’’

(on Detroit’s struggling power play…)“It can be a bit of a momentum changer either way. If you get out there and have a lot of quality chances and quality shots and you’re creating some momentum, it can be a good thing. If you’re not, it can kind of go the other way for you. We’ve struggled a little bit on the power play but you’ve just got to keep working and getting shots to the net.’’

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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