The Detroit Red Wings struck first in their Western Conference Quarterfinal matchup with the Calgary Flames, picking up a 4-1 win in game one of the series on Thursday night.
The Red Wings controlled the game from the start, answering Calgary’s physical play with hits of their own and getting on the board just 4:51 into the game.
Rookie Valtteri Filppula scored his first career playoff goal to give Detroit the early lead. Defenseman Brett Lebda carried the puck into the Calgary zone before passing off to Johan Franzen along the left wing boards. Lebda went to the front of the net with Jiri Hudler and Franzen passed out to Filppula in the slot for a wrister through the screen and past Flames’ netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.
Only 3:45 later, Detroit took a two-goal lead with a power play goal by Nicklas Lidstrom, whose shot from the slot bounced off a Calgary defender and into the net.
Pavel Datsyuk snapped a 26-game playoff scoring slump to put the Red Wings up by three at 6:56 of the second period. Datsyuk took a pass from Tomas Holmstrom as he cut in on net, slipping a shot between Kiprusoff’s pads.
Mathieu Schneider rounded out the Red Wings’ scoring 3:01 later with a blast from the blue line into the top of the net.
With 5:05 remaining in the third period, Alex Tanguay got the Flames on the board with a power play goal, putting a shot into Detroit goalie Dominik Hasek. The puck snuck through his pads and trickled across the goal line to break the shutout attempt.
The game ended on a chippy note, with 48 minutes of penalties called in the final two minutes of play. Most of those came from a scrum behind Kiprusoff’s net after Dan Cleary ran into the Calgary goaltender.
Each team finished the night with one power play goal. Detroit had seven power plays and Calgary had five.
Hasek stopped 19 shots to earn the victory while Kiprusoff made 42 saves on 46 shots against.
Game two of the series will be Sunday afternoon from Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings were without forward Todd Bertuzzi. Forward Henrik Zetterberg returned to the lineup after missing 19 games to end the regular season… The announced attendance was 19,204, less than the Joe Louis Arena capacity of 20,066.