Kings defenseman Davis Drewiske celebrates a goal score by teammate Dustin… (Terry Gilliam / Associated…)
Reporting from Detroit — Defenseman Davis Drewiske forgot that goal scorers usually linger after games to talk to reporters, but his lapse Thursday was understandable. Before his shot got through a screen for the first goal in the Kings' 2-1 victory over the Blue Jackets, he had not scored since Oct. 6, 2009 — and that was into an empty net.
His feat Thursday drew huge smiles from his teammates, who knew of his drought and as well as their shutout streak of 130 minutes 35 seconds over three games.
"There was a lot of excitement, a little bit of relief from myself and from the rest of the team," he said Friday after the Kings practiced at Joe Louis Arena. "It was like an overtime goal or something like that. It was a pretty lucky goal but I think we created a lot of our own luck, too, just by working hard.
"Net-front traffic makes a big difference. It doesn't have to be hard. Just get it to the net and there's traffic there and good things are going to happen at some point."
Going into their game Saturday against the Red Wings, the Kings were last in the NHL with an average of 2.16 goals per game. But Drewiske said he saw signs the team's struggles might ease.
"I think it's surprising for everybody, but we also like what we've done lately as far as shots on goal and our attitude in the offensive zone," said Drewiske, who has played in both games since John Stevens was appointed interim coach. "We feel like we're creating a lot more pressure on the puck, creating a lot more turnovers, getting a lot more chances.
"Hopefully [Thursday] night was the start of us turning the corner and getting that confidence back. Once the floodgates open hopefully we'll be getting three, four, five a night."
Stevens will coach Saturday and Monday, but Darryl Sutter is expected to take over as coach Tuesday. Stevens, who will stay on under Sutter, said he is not thinking about what's in store.
"There's a lot of immediate concerns right now, getting ready to play some big games on a tough road trip, and that's been most of our focus here," he said.