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Miller scores twice, Red Wings blast Kings 7-4

Drew Miller scored twice, Darren Helm added a short-handed goal in the third period, and the Detroit Red Wings rolled to their sixth straight road victory, 7-4 over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday night.

Pavel Datsyuk, Danny Cleary, Jiri Hudler and captain Nicklas Lidstrom also scored for the Red Wings, who pulled within three points of Western Conference-leading Vancouver with their second straight road win after back-to-back home losses.

Jimmy Howard made 32 saves as the Red Wings pulled away with seven consecutive goals, including three in the first period.

Michal Handzus scored in the opening minutes for the Kings, who didn't score again until captain Dustin Brown's goal cut Detroit's lead to five goals with 7:34 to play.

A few hours after acquiring goal-scoring forward Dustin Penner in a trade with Edmonton, the Kings put on their worst performance in over a month.

Wayne Simmonds and Brad Richardson scored in the final 65 seconds for the Kings, but Jonathan Quick gave up six goals on 23 shots before getting pulled with 14 minutes left. The flop was a surprise for Los Angeles, which had lost in regulation just once since Jan. 20 while winning 11 of its past 15.

The Kings still haven't lost by more than three goals all season, but they struggled mightily against one of the four teams ahead of them in the conference standings.

The Red Wings got a measure of revenge for a 5-0 home loss to Los Angeles on Dec. 13, their fourth straight loss to the Kings. They also did it without leading goal-scorer Johan Franzen, who's home with his wife for the expected birth of their first child.

Detroit began its final lengthy road trip of the season in Buffalo on Saturday, and will visit all three California teams before wrapping up in Phoenix. With their usual cheering sections behind them at every stop, the Wings haven't lost on the road since Feb. 5.

The Kings scored just 4:09 into the first period when Handzus corralled a rebound off the back boards and flipped it over Howard's pad during a power play, but the Red Wings quickly took charge.

After Miller scored his first goal in three weeks on a stoppable shot, Cleary followed 30 seconds later with an artful deflection in front for his 22nd goal. Lidstrom scored a power-play goal late in the period.

Los Angeles generated 25 shots in the first two periods, but couldn't connect. Detroit went up 4-1 with 41.2 seconds left in the second period when Datsyuk collected a puck at the blue line, skated in unimpeded and fired an expertly placed shot over Quick's glove for his 19th goal.

Helm scored after Drew Doughty failed to control a puck at the point during a power play, delighting the sizable contingent of Red Wings fans and sending many Kings fans to the exits with 18 minutes left.

After Miller and Hudler put the Wings up 7-1, Brown finally answered for the Kings to sarcastic cheers.

NOTES: Mike Modano had an assist on Lidstrom's goal in his second game back from a three-month, 41-game absence with a cut on his wrist from an errant skate. The top American-born scorer in NHL history played in just his 22nd game of his first season with the Red Wings. ... Penner is expected to arrive in Los Angeles on Tuesday, and could play Thursday against Phoenix. ... Henrik Zetterberg had two assists for Detroit.