The puck sat untouched in the middle of the crease but never made it much farther.
Nick Shore swung at it but did not connect.
Brayden McNabb rushed toward the net and stabbed at it.
But it didn't work.
Little did for the Kings Thursday night in a 4-0 loss to the
Red Wings goalie Jared Coreau earned the first shutout of his young career, the Kings failing to score for the fifth time this season.
That's more than they were shut out all last season.
“Jeff Carter has kind of been carrying this team for us,” Kings center
Zatkoff, making his first appearance since an overtime loss at Dallas on Dec. 23, appeared reasonably antsy before the puck dropped.
He was the Jonathan Quick’s backup coming into the season but was slowed by a groin injury before being supplanted by the steady
Standing 15 feet from the net, Zatkoff shifted in place as "The Star-Spangled Banner" was played. He bounced his weight from skate to skate. He crouched low and stared at nothing in particular.
Then he smacked his stick into the ice to start a forgettable first period.
The Red Wings scored on their first shot when
A short time later, Andreas Athanasiou turned a Kevin Gravel turnover into a breakaway goal. That gave the Red Wings two goals on six shots. They made it three on 13 before the end of the period when Vanek knocked in a rebound for his second goal.
Athanasiou finished the first period with a goal and two assists. The Kings went scoreless on 12 first-period shots. They were gifted a penalty shot at 13:34, but Tanner Pearson's wrist shot found Jared Coreau's right pad.
“The goal in the second shift kind of puts your team down a little bit,” Kings defenseman
The Kings outshot the Red Wings, 13-2, in the second period, and the Red Wings even went an entire power play without remotely testing Zatkoff. But the Red Wings could afford to sit back and turn most of the Kings' chances into hollow attempts.
That continued into the third until the Red Wings added to their cushion with Mantha's 10th goal of the season. A few fans beelined for the exits as Zatkoff fished the puck out of the back of the net, but a good portion remained in their seats. Most of them wore Red Wings colors. They, unlike their hosts, were having a pretty good night.