The Wings Hand the Flames Another Loss
The slump for the Flames continues, and the Red Wings get their 5th win in the past 6 games.
It was easy to look at last night's game on the schedule and expect the Flames to be blown out. Calgary has been struggling terribly to keep the puck out of the net. But this was not a high scoring game. The Flames benefited from a power play to go up 1-0 late in the first period. With 7 total penalties called in the period, it was hard to gain any rhythm. But the Wings took over in the second.
Mike Modano scored his second goal as a Red Wing with a beautiful high glove-side shot on Miikka Kiprusoff to tie the game at one. It must have felt great for Modano to end his brief scoring drought that he was in and finally get one on the board. But Modano wasn't the only player feeling great after last night.
In his first game of the season, after missing the previous eight games due to a rib injury, Justin Abdelkader scored the game winner thanks to some great end to end passing started by Nicklas Lidstrom and finished by Pavel Datsyuk (who with that assist extended his point streak to 10 games.) The Red Wings went on to hold that 2-1 lead to leave Calgary with the two points in a very satisfying comeback win.
Jimmy Howard didn't have to stop a lot of shots, but he did what he had to do to keep the Flames off the board in the second and third period. The Flames had a 4 minute power play in third period but couldn't get anything going with it. The Flames were out-shot 33-17.
Positives: It was great to see Jimmy Howard return from injury with a solid win and his 5th win of the season. It was also huge for Mike Modano to finally get on the board along with Justin Abdelkader. It was certainly a feel good night for all three of those guys.
Negatives: The top scores were very quiet last night. The third line did all the work. It definitely does pay off to have depth, but you don't want your top line guys to be invisible. Penalties were a big issue last night. The Wings took seven total penalties. Taking that many penalties is how you shoot yourself in the foot. You never want to get in the habit of that.
All in all, it was a great road win. It was a nice comeback and it was good to see that the Wings did not take a game versus a struggling team like the Flames for granted. The Wings will be in Edmonton tomorrow, and it should be interesting to see how the young and rebuilding Oilers team matches up against this Detroit team of veterans.