Pavel Datsyuk had two goals, Niklas Kronwall got the go-ahead score during a power play in the second period, and the Detroit Red Wings snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
Jimmy Howard, who gave up four goals on 21 shots Thursday night at San Jose and was pulled after two periods in a 5-2 loss, was back in the nets for Detroit and made 23 saves - one of them on a penalty shot by Anze Kopitar at 11:06 of the second period with Detroit clinging to a 2-1 lead.
Justin Abdelkader also scored and Tomas Holmstrom had two assists for the Red Wings, who avoided what would have been their first six-game road skid since December 1987. Detroit, which had the NHL's second-best road record last season at 26-11-4, posted its first win away from Joe Louis Arena since Johan Franzen beat Minnesota with an power play goal in overtime on Oct. 15.
Mike Richards scored his sixth goal in six games for the Kings, who were coming off a sweep of their home-and-home set with the Anaheim Ducks. Jonathan Quick made 33 saves.
The Kings, who won three of the four meetings with Detroit last season, opened the scoring at 6:37 of the first period with their third short-handed goal in two games - just 8 seconds after Justin Williams was sent off for tripping Datsyuk.
Henrik Zetterberg won a clean faceoff from Jarret Stoll deep in the Los Angeles end, but the puck slid out of the zone between point men Kronwall and Jiri Hudler, and Richards outraced Hudler to the puck down in the Detroit zone before slipping a short backhander between Howard's pads for his eighth goal of the season.
The Kings' lead lasted just 37 seconds, however, as Datsyuk converted a rebound of Nicklas Lidstrom's shot from the left point on the same power play. It was Datsyuk's first goal in 13 games since his winner Oct. 21 against Columbus at Detroit. He added an unassisted goal at 15:06 of the third period.
The Red Wings took a 2-1 lead at 7:08 of the second period when Holmstrom carried the puck from behind the net and fed Kronwall in front while Rob Scuderi was off for slashing Zetterberg.
Howard, who had a career-high 51 saves against the Kings in a 2-1 victory at Staples Center on Jan. 7, 2010, made perhaps his most critical save of this game after Kopitar went in alone on him and was fouled from behind by former Kings defenseman Stewart.
The Kings' leading scorer was awarded his first penalty shot in the NHL, but Howard stood his ground and gloved Kopitar's backhander while doing the splits.
Brendan Smith, playing in his second NHL game following his promotion from Grand Rapids of the AHL, recorded his first point with an assist on Abdelkader's goal at 15:38 of the second as the Red Wings extended the margin to 3-1. It came just 7 seconds after Smith finished serving a hooking penalty.
Smith was suspended for the final three preseason games and five regular-season contests because of his illegal check to the head of Chicago's Ben Smith on Sept. 28, which left the Blackhawks' forward with a concussion and resulted in a match penalty and an automatic game misconduct for the Red Wings' defenseman. Ben Smith didn't return to Chicago's lineup until Friday night.
NOTES: Richards is the first player to score short-handed goals in back-to-back games for the Kings since Ziggy Palffy, on March 29-30, 2001. ... RW Todd Bertuzzi returned to the Detroit lineup after missing six games because of a sinus infection that left him dizzy and light-headed. ... Despite the offseason retirements of G Chris Osgood, C Kris Draper and D Brian Rafalski, the Red Wings still have 13 players left from their 2008 Stanley Cup championship team. One of them is Stuart, whom they obtained from the Kings less than 3 1-2 months before winning the title. ... Kings LW Ethan Moreau, who signed a one-year, $600,000 free agent contract in August, hasn't scored a goal in his first 20 games. It's the 16-year veteran's longest drought from the start of a season, surpassing his first 15 games in 2000-01 with Edmonton. ... The Kings are 10-22-4 with one tie against Detroit since upsetting the Red Wings in the first-round of the 2001 playoffs. ... The victory made Detroit the only visiting NHL team to win a game at Staples Center in each of the last nine seasons. San Jose has three chances to match that streak, beginning Nov. 28.