Fire Extinguishers

The Red Wings stuck to their game plan and played a tight third period defense, and Kirk Maltby scored the game winning goal in his 500th career game, to lead the Wings over the Calgary Flames, 4-2.

The league's two leading teams looked evenly matched throughout the first period. Play went from one end of the ice to the other, but neither side was able to generate a quality scoring chance until 11:34 into the game. Pavel Datsyuk won a faceoff in Calgary's zone. Boyd Devereaux took the puck behind the net and passed to Tomas Holmstrom, who one-timed the shot past goalie Roman Turek.

Calgary came right back only two minutes later. Dean McAmmond took a pass from Craig Conroy and sped up the right wing side, then fired hard and beat Dominik Hasek for the goal.

The Red Wings were not to be outdone. With 5:13 remaining in the first, Datsyuk passed the puck to Devereaux, who fired hard. Turek was able to block, but Brett Hull had outraced the Flames' defensemen to be in just the right place to grab up the rebound and slam it into the net behind Turek.

Calgary's Robyn Regehr re-tied the game with 3:20 left in the period. McAmmond carried the puck into the zone and led three Red Wings towards him before passing back to Regehr at the blue line at the last possible moment. Regehr fired a hard shot and put the puck past Hasek, who was being screened by big Jarome Iginla and never saw the shot at all.

The Red Wings played strong offensively in the second period, as has been their tendency throughout the season, taking a total of sixteen shots against Turek, contrasted with the Flames' mere seven shots against Hasek. Maltby broke the tie 6:09 into the second by backhanding the rebound from Hull's shot into the small space between Turek's right shoulder and the goalpost.

Detroit had two power play chances in the second period, which overlapped for sixteen seconds of five-on-three play, but were unable to convert the opportunities into another goal, mainly because of a strong showing by Turek.

The Flames would give up one more goal before the period was over. Igor Larionov got a pass from Steve Duchesne and took off up the ice, with Luc Robitaille matching speed on the other side of the rink and only one Calgary defenseman back to cover. Robitaille slowed up just enough to take the cross-ice pass from Larionov and one-time it into the net.

The Flames would give up one more goal before the period was over. Igor Larionov got a pass from Steve Duchesne and took off up the ice, with Luc Robitaille matching speed on the other side of the rink and only one Calgary defenseman back to cover. Robitaille slowed up just enough to take the cross-ice pass from Larionov and one-time it into the net.

Hasek made nineteen saves on a total of twenty-one shots. Turek saved twenty-eight of thirty-two shots. Ironically, neither Jarome Iginla nor Brendan Shanahan, currently the NHL's first and second place players in both goals and points, were able to score in this game.

Detroit will play again Friday night in the first game of a two night home-and-home series with the New Jersey Devils.

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