Helm’s late goal lifts Red Wings

DETROIT  — Darren Helm scored with 1:13 left in regulation to lift the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 past the Los Angeles Kings Friday night at Joe Louis Arena.

It was Helm’s ninth goal of the season as he was fed from behind the net from Johan Franzen.

Dwight King scored for the Kings at 14:06 of the third period for 3-2 lead. Less than two minutes later, Valtteri Filppula tied it for Detroit with his 22nd goal of the season.

Henrik Zetterberg scored his second goal of the game at 15:37 of the second period to tie the score at 2-2.

It was Zetterberg’s 17th goal of the season and he was assisted by Valtteri Filppula and Niklas Kronwall.

Detroit had only eight shots on goal the first two periods.

Jeff Carter and Justin Williams scored first period goals to lift the Kings to a 2-1 lead after the first period.

Carter scored his 16th goal of the season at 7:20 of the first period on the power play while Williams notched his 16th at 17:41 to break a 1-1 tie.

The Red Wings had lost two straight. They played the game minus six key players who are nursing injuries with Todd Bertuzzi, Pavel Datsyuk, Jonathan Erickson, Jimmy Howard, Nicklas Lidstrom and Jakub Kindl.

Wings center Corey Emmerton noted that the several players joining the Wings from the Grand Rapids Griffins, their American Hockey League affiliate, may be looking to him for guidance.

“I think the biggest part is going out and having fun and you know, playing hockey and not worrying too much,” Emmerton said. “I think as the game goes on they are going to get more comfortable. That’s just how it goes in this league. It’s going to take a little bit of time.

“I think we have some pretty good chemistry on this team so you know I think any time we put someone new in they seem to do a pretty good job in the new position.”

Goalie Joe MacDonald had eight saves for Detroit.

Detroit is 43-21-3 for 91 points to rank fourth in the NHL’s Western Conference. The Kings at 31-25-12, are ranked ninth in the conference, one place from the conference’s final Stanley Cup playoff berth.

The Red Wings now go on a five-game road swing starting with a trip to Nashville tonight and continuing March 13 at Los Angeles, March 14 at Anaheim and March 17 at San Jose.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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