From frustration to relief to shock, all in a matter of minutes.
For more than 45 minutes, and through more than 50 shots, the Kings did everything they could to put a puck past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. They finally did, but the Kings' biggest disappointment was still to come.
After the Kings tied the game, on their 52nd shot of the game, with 4:22 remaining in the third period, Detroit's Darren Helm scored with 17.3 seconds remaining for a 2-1 victory over the Kings before a sellout crowd Thursday night at STAPLES Center.
The Kings set a team record for most shots on goal in a period, with 27 shots in the second period, but Howard kept the Wings afloat long enough to win the game.
Ryan Smyth's power-play goal tied the game 1-1, but the Kings did not record a shot on goal after that. The Red Wings didn't stop shooting, though, and a strong individual play by Helm in the final minute resulted in the game-winner.
Helm, pinned against the boards by Kings defenseman Sean O'Donnell in the corner, worked his way free and cut to the front of thet net. Helm appeared to lose control of the puck near the side of the net, but the puck trickled past Quick and into the net.
``The play at the end, they make a strong play on it,'' Kings coach Terry Murray said. ``They beat us off the boards and took it to the net.
``It's unfortunate. It's a very tough game. I hope it's not a game that comes back to haunt us later on, as we get down to the end of the season. Even to get a point out of this would have been real important.''
That's because the loss packed an extra punch for the Kings, in terms of playoff implications. Three months remain in the season, but the Kings missed an opportunity to get a mental boost over its closest competitor in the playoff race.
Vancouver and Nashville won Thursday and the Kings, would would have moved into sixth place in the Western Conference with a win, instead fell to eighth, one point behind Colorado and now just three points ahead of ninth-place Detroit.
``We played a great game, I think,'' Kings captain Dustin Brown said, ``but at the end of the day, they're three points behind us now, instead of seven.''
The Kings, who put tremendous pressure on Howard throughout the game, seemed as though they might be destined for a hard-luck 1-0 loss until Smyth's goal.
The Red Wings took a 1-0 lead with two-tenths of a second left in the first period, just after the end of a power play. Quick made the save on Brian Rafalski’s shot from the right circle. Valtteri Filppula whacked at the rebound, and Dan Cleary got to the puck and knocked it in from the right side.
The Kings dominated the second period, and outshot the Red Wings 27-6, but couldn't beat Howard, who has been strong of late but allowed three goals in a loss to Anaheim two nights earlier.
The height of the Kings' frustration came late in the second period, when the Red Wings had four players, plus Howard, piled up in the crease, but the Kings couldn't score.
``Howard, he was playing good, no question about that,'' Anze Kopitar said. ``but there were just a couple lucky bounces here and there, and we could have won that game.''
The Kings finally got their ``bounce'' late in the third period, with Detroit' Todd Bertuzzi in the penalty box. Brown, in the left circle, shanked a shot wide, but Smyth, parked at the side of the net, deflected it past Howard.
Smyth jumped with delight, and the Kings celerbated, but they didn't record a shot on goal for the rest of the game.
``When you keep going like that, and you get one (goal), it's a little bit of a relief, but that's what we have to learn,'' Kopitar said. ``We can't let down. No matter if it's 0.2 seconds left in the first period or 17 seconds left in the third period, you can't let down.'' LAKings.com's NOTES
The last time the Kings had 50 shots in one game was Feb. 13, 1997 (4-4 vs. Toronto)
... The Kings 27 shots in the second period set a record for most shots in one period. The previous high was 26 (done two times).
... The Kings record for most shots in one game is 59 (set Dec. 26, 1992 vs. San Jose).
... The line of Ryan Smyth (9 shots), Dustin Brown (6 shots) and Anze Kopitar (8 shots) combined for 23 shots alone.
... Nine of Ryan Smyth’s 13 goals have come on the power play (139 of his 313 career goals have come on the power play).
... The Kings are 6-2-1 in their last nine home games.
... The Kings have killed 19 of their last 21 penalties (90.5 percent).
... The Kings are 38 for 43 on the penalty kill in their last 11 games (88.4 percent).
...14 of the last 18 game have been decided by one goal (9-5-0).
1 - 0 DET
1 - 1 Tie