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NHL Game Summary - Detroit at Los Angeles

(Thursday, January 7th)

Final Score: Detroit 2, Los Angeles 1

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Jimmy Howard was sensational between the pipes, stopping a career-best 51-of-52 shots, and Darren Helm scored the game- winner with 17.3 seconds left in the third period to give the Detroit Red Wings a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings in a hard-fought battle at Staples Center.

Dan Cleary scored the other goal for the Red Wings, who improved to 2-1-0 on a five-game road trip.

"Stay the course. Just stay back there and keep battling and keep giving your team chances to win. And that's basically all I tried to do tonight," Howard said.

Detroit forwards Cleary and Henrik Zetterberg returned to the lineup on Thursday. Zetterberg missed eight games with a separated shoulder, while Cleary had been sidelined since December 9 with a similar injury.

However, the Red Wings did receive some bad news on Thursday. Reports indicate that left wing Tomas Holmstrom will be out 3-to-4 weeks after suffering a broken foot during Wednesday's practice.

Ryan Smyth scored the lone goal for the Kings, who had a three-game winning streak broken. Jonathan Quick turned aside 22-of-24 shots for Los Angeles, which set a club for shots in a period with 27 in the second frame.

Cleary knocked home a rebound with 0.2 seconds left in the first period to give Detroit the early edge.

After Smyth tied the tilt at 1-1 with 4:22 to go in regulation, Helm scored off a great play. Helm fell to the ice as he battled along the right boards for the puck. He managed to get up and get past a Kings defender before sliding the disc between the pads of Quick.

Howard followed up a 10-save first period with an amazing 27-save effort in a scoreless second stanza.

However, Howard's bid for a shutout came to an end when Smyth lit the lamp on the power play with 4:22 left in the third. Dustin Brown fired a shot from the left circle, and Smyth was positioned in front of the net to swat the disc into the back of the net.

"The scoring was hard to come by, Howard was unbelievable. I think on some of those scoring opportunities we might not have been ready. I know there was a couple of opportunities that came into the slot, Brownie [Dustin Brown] had one, Simmer [Wayne Simmonds] had one there late in the third period and missed the puck. I think it was just a surprise to them and that's just being ready, being intense on it," Kings head coach Terry Murray said.

Game Notes

The last time the Kings had 50 shots in one game was February 13, 1997 (4-4 vs. Toronto)...The Kings are 6-2-1 in their last nine home games...Los Angeles is just 2-18-4 with a tie in its last 25 matchups versus Detroit, while also losing five straight and 11 of its last 12 at home in the series...The Kings started a seven-game homestand on Thursday.

01/08 01:44:27 ET

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