Saturday’s game will be the third of four meetings between the Kings and Wings this season, and the initial two were quite different.
In the first game, Oct. 15 at Detroit, the Kings led 1-0 after a strong first period but gave up a goal less than four minutes into the second period and never recovered. They went on to trail 3-1 and lose 5-2. Then, of course, on Jan. 7 in L.A. was the game in which the Kings outshot the Wings 52-24 but lost 2-1 on Darren Helm’s final-minute goal.
Terry Murray, though, said there’s a theme to having success against Detroit…
MURRAY: “It’s going to be about how we get through the middle of the ice. Detroit has, inevitably, been a team that has taken it to us in the middle of the ice. Their transition game is outstanding. They have three guys back, four guys back. They pressure from behind all the time. Datsyuk and Zetterberg are excellent players tracking back. They get a lot of pucks turned over just before the tops of the circles in their end, and they get on the transition. So if we’re managing the puck and making hard plays, getting it deep and letting the forecheck work for us, that’s going to be a key read for me.”