Daniel Cleary was cut by a high stick, Brendan Smith was dazed by a blindside hit, and the Detroit Red Wings felt they were burned by the officiating Wednesday.
The Red Wings played a strong defensive game against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, holding a one-goal lead much of the night.
But, they took one penalty too many, and it cost them, as the Kings scored twice in the final 10 minutes to pull out a 2-1 victory at Staples Center.
Jeff Carter scored on his team's third five-on-three power play at 10:26 of the third period. Anze Kopitar scored what proved to be the winner at 15:12, following a defensive breakdown.
“Very disappointing,'' Cleary said. “I thought we had a great start to the game and obviously the referees had a big part of the outcome.''
Cleary needed 15 stitches to close a cut near his right orbital bone from a high stick in the third period. It would have been a four-minute penalty because it drew blood, but the officials didn't see it.
They also didn't see defenseman Brendan Smith get leveled by Dustin Penner later in the period. It was Smith's first game since suffering a sprained right shoulder on Feb. 2. Penner caught him in the same shoulder and, Smith said, part of his head.
“I didn't even turn or anything, I just got hit,'' Smith said. “I'm not sure why that happened. I'm not sure if that was intentional.
“Just the fact you're not ready for it and the puck's not around, and he's a big man, too. I'm not sure if that will be reviewed (by the NHL, for supplementary discipline).''
Red Wings feel they were burned by the officials after being clipped and blindsided by the Kings
Michigan Live | Feb 28