DETROIT, Michigan -- The Red Wings spent the better part of the first period on the power play, scoring three times with the man advantage, which turned out to be the difference in beating the Flames, 6-3. The game was marked by the return of Darren McCarty to Joe Louis Arena after having his contract bought out by the Wings this summer.
The Flames took six penalties in the first period, which included two high sticking double minors.
Mathieu Schneider drew the first high stick leading to Nicklas Lidstrom's first goal of the season at 4:31. Less then four minutes later Brendan Shanahan scored the Wings' second power play goal after some hard work by Henrik Zetterberg to dig the puck out of the corner setting up the play.
Mikael Samuelsson scored the third power play goal tipping in Jiri Fischer's shot from the point. This coming from Dion Phaneuf's high sticking double minor on Shanahan. All the time on the power play gave the Wings a hugh advantage, outshooting the Flames 22-4 in the first.
Not Looking much like the Stanley Cup finalst from the prior season, the Flames got things started in the second period with some luck. Rhett Warrener's shot from the point was accidently tipped past Manny Legace by Kris Draper who was trying to block it. It still couldn't turn around the Flames' luck, as Zetterberg scored the Wings fourth power play goal six minutes later, his first goal of the season.
The Flames kept fighting back, though still being outplayed by the Wings. Roman Hamrlik brought them within two goals again with a shot from the point with just over 5 minutes left in the period. But the Wings kept motoring along with Robert Lang's one-timer from the slot fed by Zetterberg behind the net with half a minute left before the second intermission. It was the only even strength goal of the afternoon for the Wings.
Pavel Datsyuk added another power play goal at the midway point of the third period for the Wings, while the Flames got their third goal from Chuck Kobasew's first tally of the season.
Lidstrom's power play goal in the first period moved him to sixth on the Red Wings all-time scoring list with 729 points, lifting him past Ted Lindsay.
The Red Wings will face the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow night at the Joe.