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Kings Ground Red Wings


For now, a two-game winning streak is enough to excite the Los Angeles Kings.

"We're definitely on the right track," defenseman Garry Galley said after Thursday night's 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

"We've been playing well enough that we could have put five or six together, but we haven't been able to, for whatever reason. We've either shot ourselves in the foot or we hit a hot goalie, but now we're getting some results from the way we've played lately," he said..

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  • Ziggy Palffy scored twice and Luc Robitaille passed Stan Mikita for 19th place on the NHL career list with his 542nd goal. Glen Murray also scored for the Kings, who took the lead with three goals in an 80-second span of the second period against Chris Osgood.

    "We're just not playing as good as we are accustomed to in our own end," Osgood said. "We really didn't show any desperation. We were just playing."

    Los Angeles recorded consecutive victories for the first time since a three-game winning streak from Nov. 11-16. Jozef Stumpel and Bryan Smolinski, both of whom had never scored against the Red Wings, got goals 40 seconds apart during the four-goal second. All five players who scored for Los Angeles each had an assist as well.

    Sergei Fedorov scored the first two goals for Detroit, one on a shorthanded breakaway. Kirk Maltby also scored for the Red Wings and Larry Murphy had two assists.

    The Kings tied the score at 2 when Stumpel intercepted defenseman Chris Chelios' pass and beat Chris Osgood between the pads with a 20-foot wrist shot at 12:57 of the second, ending his 14-game drought against the Red Wings.

    "We played hard and we scored on our chances," Robitaille said. "We just came out with a little but of desperation, and it paid off."

    Smolinski snapped a personal 11-game dry spell against Detroit with a 25-footer from the slot after Murray set him up with a pass from behind the net. Just 40 seconds later, Palffy fed Robitaille in the slot for his 25th goal of the season, leaving him two behind Rocket Richard for 18th place on the career goal list.

    It was the 14th goal in 17 games for Robitaille, whose 14 seasons in the NHL are the fewest among the league's top 42 career goal scorers. Mikita played 22 years for Chicago and Richard 18 for Montreal.

    The four second-period goals tied a season best for the Kings, who dealt the Red Wings their second straight loss after four consecutive victories.

    "We got them down. And when you get them down, they had to take some chances and open it up a little bit. And when they did, it gave us a chance to finish plays. Over the past month or so, we've had trouble finishing. But we're starting to finish now."

    The Red Wings nearly scored a shorthanded goal 2@1/2 minutes into the game during a roughing penalty against Chelios, but Stephane Fiset made back-to-back stops on Doug Brown and Steve Duchesne from close range.

    Fedorov scored with the Wings a man short, however, beating Fiset to the glove side on a breakaway at 17:42 of the first period during a high-sticking penalty against Martin Lapointe.

    The Red Wings, urged by coach Scotty Bowman to play more aggressively following Monday's 5-3 loss at Phoenix, took the message a little too literally and got in a couple of late hits against Jason Blake and Len Barrie early in the first period.

    Chelios received a roughing penalty for shoving Blake, who accidentally brushed against Osgood as the goalie retrieved the puck a second after an icing call against the Kings. Moments later, Pat Verbeek shoved Barrie in the crease after a glove save by Osgood forced a stoppage of play.

    "We came out ready for a phsical, high-intensity game," Galley said. "When you've had a break since Monday, it's hard to get going after you've been sitting around. But we're just looking to get wins, and tonight I thought our whole team came together."

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