The Detroit Red Wings started Wednesday night’s matchup with the same lines they had used all season but a change midway through the game sparked a comeback to earn a 4-3 overtime win over the Calgary Flames.
Coach Mike Babcock had the team practice with different sets of lines all week so that he could see what worked after trying to switch things up on Saturday against Chicago and being unhappy with the results.
Marian Hossa – usually on a line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom – skated with Henrik Zetterberg and Dan Cleary. Johan Franzen left Zetterberg’s line to join Datsyuk’s. The updated lines generated two third period goals as the Red Wings forced overtime.
Down 3-1 midway through the third period, Zetterberg put the rebound of a Cleary chance past Calgary netminder Curtis McElhinney to pull the Wings to within a goal.
Brian Rafalski rifled home a shot from the right point with 6:17 remaining in regulation to tie the game.
Nicklas Lidstrom scored the game-winner in a similar fashion, blasting a long shot past McElhinney with Datsyuk screening.
The Flames had taken a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on goals by Craig Conroy and Daymond Langkow. Valtteri Filppula tipped a Kris Draper shot past McElhinney to make it 2-1 after two periods. A power play goal by David Moss made it 3-1 at 8:51 of the third.
Ty Conklin stopped 29 of 32 shots in the Detroit net. McElhinney made 35 saves on 39 chances for Calgary.