|Kings looking to follow Wings' example as teams hook up|
A three-game winning streak has done more for the Detroit Red Wings than simply pull them out of the bottom of the National Hockey League's standings.
Heading into Thursday's road clash with the Los Angeles Kings, the Red Wings are believing in themselves.
"Winning breeds confidence," coach Jeff Blashill told reporters after his club's latest victory, a 4-3 overtime win over the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. "We've got to continue to make sure we play good hockey for 60 minutes."
Beating the slumping Ducks right now may not be a big feat, but Detroit's other two victories during this spree came against the Boston Bruins and Vegas Golden Knights. Beating a couple of teams of that caliber will provide the kind of mental boost necessary to drum up a win the way the Red Wings did in Anaheim to kick off their three-game California road trip.
The Red Wings, who had just one win in their previous 13 games before this streak, tied the Ducks in the final minute, and then defenseman Dennis Cholowski scored in extra time.
"Lately if we get down a goal or two, we are not panicking. We're not playing frantic or anything like that," Cholowski said. "We still have the same habits. We're still forechecking and getting the puck in deep, so that's good to see."
Detroit is benefiting from some hot hands these days. Tyler Bertuzzi has four assists in the past three games, Robby Fabbri has two goals and two assists in three games since being acquired via trade from the St. Louis Blues, and Anthony Mantha is riding a four-game point streak, with two goals and three assists.
The Kings, who sit tied for last in the 31-team league, are also coming off a win -- 3-1 over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. But the overriding story in Los Angeles is the status of veteran Ilya Kovalchuk.
Kovalchuk, who returned the NHL with the Kings last season and signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract, was a healthy scratch in the Minnesota game, and there are reports the club is trying to trade him. Kovalchuk was also scratched for several games last season.
When asked on Wednesday whether Kovalchuk will the Red Wings, coach Todd McLellan said: "We'll make a lineup decision tomorrow, and we'll keep going forward. Coaches have a tendency to use the same group after a win and then reward that group. So I don't know what our lineup will be tomorrow. We'll see where it goes."
Los Angeles snapped a three-game losing skid in beating the Wild -- the team tied with the Kings at the bottom of the league -- and collecting a win among the upheaval surrounding Kovalchuk obviously fostered some good vibes for the Kings.
"There were times in the second period where we weren't as sharp as we needed to be, but we didn't give up a whole lot," said captain Anze Kopitar, who has collected five points over the last four games. "Once we got scored on, we just kind of gathered and didn't panic too much, so that was good to see."
--Field Level Media