Sometimes hockey can be so cruel.
The Los Angeles Kings turned in their best performance of the young season Sunday afternoon in Detroit. They were dominating play from the beginning of the game. They were getting so much zone time they had 38 shots through two periods, or more than Detroit had given up in any other game this season. They ended up with 47 shots to the 31 for the Red Wings.
But it didn't look like they would get rewarded for it until Alec Martinez scored with 52 seconds to go and the Kings net empty. It tied the game and seemed to ensure the Kings would get at least one point for their strong performance.
That's neglecting one minor detail: There were still 52 seconds left to play, and the Wings needed almost all of it to send the Kings home with another loss.
With the always-dangerous offensive zone draw, the Wings were in attack mode. The Kings won the faceoff but couldn't cleanly possess the puck to get it out of the zone, and a poke up the side boards went right to defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who put it on net. That's when the puck squeaked through Jonathan Quick's legs and crawled across the goal line.
Just like that the game was back to a Red Wings victory, with a 3-2 final score. An exciting and crazy ending to an exciting and crazy game.
The result for the Kings is yet another loss. The defending champs remain in a tie for last in the Western Conference, now off to a 3-5-2 start to the season. But it is still pretty clear just watching them play that they aren't that bad at all, they just aren't getting the breaks. My colleague Adam Gretz wrote about that very issue earlier this week.
This was just the latest, and most painful, case in point.
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