Daniel Cleary needed stitches above his right eye. Brendan Smith got bulldozed.

The Detroit Red Wings left Staples Center Wednesday night nursing a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings and nursing several bruises and black eyes. Bad enough that the Wings had to deal with three separate five-on-three Kings power plays; what really irked the Wings were the non-calls on the Kings for nearly blinding Cleary and blindsiding Smith.

"It's very disappointing," Cleary said. "I mean, I thought we had a great start to the game. Obviously, I feel the referees had a big part in the outcome."

The loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Wings and left them with having to salvage this trip by pulling a win out of San Jose tonight against a Sharks team that didn't play the night before.

It was a tough situation for the Wings to accept, because they did so much good Wednesday, from starting with a strong puck-possession performance to taking a 1-0 lead to getting good scoring chances on two early power plays to killing off a 3:45-minute Kings power play during a second-period stretch that included an entire two minutes where the Kings had two extra skaters.

"I thought we did lots of good things," coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought we had momentum in the first period. We got momentum because of our power play and I thought we played well and we were quicker than them in the first. Then I thought they got momentum in the second when they got the 5-on-3, and we did a good job killing it.

"In the third period, I thought we really carried the play early, and then they got the 5-on-3 again. What I don't like about that third period for us is, there should have been a penalty called on Dan Cleary and there should have been a penalty called on Smith. And I don't mind the penalties we took, because we took them, but those can't be missed, either."