Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Thursday, October 15th
Red Wings5
Game 2: Thursday, January 7th
Red Wings2Final
Game 3: Saturday, January 23rd
Red Wings2
Game 4: Saturday, February 6th
Red Wings3Final

Kings 2

(4-3-0, 8 pts)

Red Wings 5

(3-3-0, 6 pts)

7:30 PM ET, October 15, 2009

Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

1 2 3 T
LA 1 0 12
DET 0 2 24

N. Lidstrom (Red Wings - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

C. Osgood (Red Wings - G): Saves: 24, Save Pct.: .923

T. Bertuzzi (Red Wings - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

Kings-Red Wings Preview


Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood's inconsistency is a big reason why the defending Western Conference champions surprisingly share last place in the Central Division.

The Los Angeles Kings' Jon Quick, meanwhile, has rebounded from a rough start to lead his team to an unexpected Pacific Division lead.

Thursday Night Hockey

Thursday is the day for pucks at Check out our Game of the Week (Sharks-Caps), preview tonight's action, chat with our experts and watch our postgame show. Thursday Night Hockey

• Thursday night predictions Insider

Quick will try to keep the Kings in first place with a first career win over the Red Wings and Osgood on Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.

After finishing a win shy of a second straight Stanley Cup title, Detroit (2-3-0) is off to its worst start in nine seasons, and the eight-time defending division champs are tied with St. Louis and Nashville in the Central cellar.

Osgood has a career-worst 3.68 goals-against average in four starts and was pulled from Tuesday night's 6-2 loss at Buffalo. After solid performances in consecutive victories, the veteran goaltender gave up a season-worst five goals in 32:46.

"It obviously wasn't very pretty," Red Wings forward Daniel Cleary said. "We have to be ready to go the next game because an effort like that, you're not going to win."

The Red Wings have allowed 3.80 goals per game, tied for third worst in the NHL, and their 66.7 penalty-kill percentage also ranks near the bottom.

Osgood and Detroit, however, could bounce back Thursday as the Red Wings are 20-2-0 against Los Angeles since Feb. 24, 2003, and 10-1-0 at home. They swept four matchups with the Kings in 2008-09 with Osgood winning twice to improve to 9-2-0 with a 1.72 GAA against the Kings over the last five seasons.

Osgood outdueled Quick in a 2-1 home victory Feb. 27 as the Kings goaltender dropped to 0-3-0 with a 3.70 GAA all-time versus the Red Wings.

Quick, however, is on a career-best, four-game win streak since giving up six goals to Phoenix in the season opener Oct. 3. He allowed a goal apiece in road victories over St. Louis and the New York Islanders, but sat out Wednesday night's 4-2 defeat at the New York Rangers.

Erik Ersberg stopped 17 of 21 shots in his season debut and Ryan Smyth scored his team-leading fifth goal. Smyth, acquired in a trade with Colorado in July, also has nine points -- second to Anze Kopitar's 10.

"It would have been a great start if I stopped the shots," Ersberg said. "It was not the first game I was looking for. I think we should have had this game."

A season after scoring a league-best 295 goals last season, Detroit has averaged 2.8 this season. Already having lost Johan Franzen to a torn ACL, the Red Wings could be without Pavel Datsyuk, who is dealing with an upper body injury.

Datsyuk, the team's leading scorer the past five seasons, was a Hart Trophy finalist with a career-high 32 goals in 2008-09. Franzen and Datsyuk were among six Red Wings who scored at least 19 goals last season, but only Tomas Holmstrom and Ville Leino have multiple goals this season.

Detroit, however, has converted 7 of 22 power-play chances for a respectable 31.8 percent. The Kings have done even better at 33.3 percent (7 of 21) with Smyth scoring three goals, but are worse at killing penalties (59.1 percent).