Detroit, MI – Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson scored with 4.5 seconds remaining in the third period to lift the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena.
The game appeared destined for overtime, with Kings blueliner Alec Martinez netting the equalizer with 52.8 seconds left in regulation.
But Ericsson ripped a slap shot from the right point that squeaked by Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick and trickled across the goal line.
It was a heartbreaking loss for a Kings team that was all over the Red Wings, who were saved by a stellar performance by Jimmy Howard. The Detroit netminder made 45 saves, including 23 in a scoreless second period.
"If you watched that game, I think you'd say (Howard) stole that one for us, no doubt about that," said Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
Pavel Datsyuk and rookie Damien Brunner supplied the other goals for Detroit, which has won three games in a row.
Anze Kopitar also lit the lamp for the Kings, who fell to 1-3-0 on their five- game road trip. Quick stopped 28 shots and was on the bench when Martinez backhanded home a rebound.
Moments before the game-tying marker, Detroit's Johan Franzen hit the post while on a power play.
"Certainly not the finish that we wanted. I thought we gave it a good go in the end, got the tying goal," Kopitar said. "We arguably played one of the best games this season and didn't come out with the result that we wanted."
The Red Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Kopitar scored on a rebound with 41 seconds remaining in the first period.
Henrik Zetterberg assisted on both Detroit tallies, the first coming on a power play.
The Red Wings captain hit Pavel Datsyuk with a pass that he transferred from his skate to his stick in stride at the Los Angeles blue line. Datsyuk then went down the slot and fired a shot over Quick's glove at the 5:44 mark.
Brunner beat Quick to the far side from the right circle off a feed from Zetterberg with 2:32 left.
The Red Wings' Mike Babcock coached the 750th NHL game of his career ... All nine of Detroit's power-play goals this season have been scored at home.