Postgame: Red Wings @ Flames – 10/23

I missed the Calgary game live but I got a text at the end of the first period implying big things were going down. Asking “What did I miss?” the response was “Everything.”

The hit on Dylan Larkin to end the period was a complete joke. Two minutes for targeting the head meant that the guy who did it was still in the game to score the tying goal. I’m not even expecting a suspension but even if there is one, it doesn’t help Detroit any.

The thing that jumped out to me as I re-watched, knowing what was coming, was the matching minors to Jonathan Ericsson and Micheal Ferland with 1:29 left in the period. Here’s how I see it:

The puck is covered by Jimmy Howard and play is blown dead. At this point, Ericsson is in the slot and Ferland is even further out, a few feet behind him. Ferland skates up behind Ericsson and slashes him on the calf then continues driving towards the net. Ericsson tries to intercept, putting his stick into Ferland’s shoulder.

Ferland nevertheless gets to the front of the net and throws a right-handed gloved-punch at Teemu Pulkkinen, while throwing his left out at Ericsson. Then Ericsson puts Ferland in a bear hug and referee Rob Martell calls matching minors.

Chris Osgood said on the FSD broadcast that he liked the penalty because it was Ericsson showing some fire. I hate the penalty because none of that should have happened.

Ferland is 15 feet or more away from the front of the net when play is blown dead. The only reason for him to go there is to do something illegal. Which he does both on the way there, with the slash to Ericsson, and once he gets there with the unprovoked punch to Pulkkinen. Yet on the scoresheet, that play is equal to Ericsson’s bear hug.

I get that Ferland is a tough guy. Slashing a guy from behind after the whistle isn’t tough. A gloved punch to someone’s face unprovoked isn’t tough. It’s thuggery. People only call it tough because the refs are too afraid to make tough calls so it’s thuggery that works.

Howard Stops 37 but Red Wings Fall to Flames in Overtime

Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard stopped 37 of the 40 shots he faced on Friday night but it wasn’t enough to keep the Red Wings from a 3-2 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames.

The Red Wings have now lost four consecutive games after starting the season with three straight wins.

Detroit carried a 2-1 lead into the final minutes of the third period but with 1:12 left in regulation Joe Colborne tipped a Mark Giordano shot from the high slot past Howard for a 2-2 tie.

In overtime it was Giordano playing the hero for Calgary, taking a feed from Johnny Gaudreau in the right faceoff circle and drawing Howard to him, then stepping around him to shovel the puck into the open net with 1:48 left in the extra period – his second goal of the game.

The Red Wings’ Gustav Nyquist had opened the game’s scoring at 7:38 of the first period. On a Detroit power play, Nyquist snapped a shot from the inside edge of the right circle past Calgary goalie Jonas Hiller off a feed from Henrik Zetterberg.

Giordano’s first of the night tied things up with 8:58 left to go in the opening frame. From nearly the same spot as hit shot on the tying goal, Giordano snapped the puck through a screen and past Howard to make it 1-1.

Brendan Smith – back in the Detroit lineup after a blue line shakeup – scored his first of the season to restore the Wings’ lead just 1:38 later. On another power play, Smith threw a shot from the high slot through traffic and past Hiller to make it 2-1.

Hiller finished the night with 27 saves on 29 shots.

Both Detroit goals came with the man-advantage. They had four power play tries on the night. Calgary went scoreless on the power play.

The Red Wings conclude their Western Canadian road trip on Saturday in Vancouver.

Detroit defenseman Mike Green left the game early due to injury. Kyle Quincey and Niklas Kronwall also missed time during the game nursing injuries.

Pregame: Red Wings @ Flames – 10/23

Riding a three-game losing streak, the Red Wings will shake up their lines as they visit the Calgary Flames tonight.

Part of that shakeup is due to a back injury for Brad Richards, who will miss the final two games of Detroit’s road trip through Western Canada. With Richards out and Pavel Datsyuk not yet back from injury, rookie Dylan Larkin will switch from wing to center the team’s second line.

The expected lines are as follows:

Justin AbdelkaderHenrik ZetterbergGustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar – Dylan Larkin – Teemu Pulkkinen
Darren HelmRiley SheahanLuke Glendening
Drew MillerJoakim AnderssonLandon Ferraro

Niklas KronwallMike Green
Kyle QuinceyDanny DeKeyser
Brendan SmithJonathan Ericsson

On defense, all three pairs are changed up, with Brendan Smith swapping in for Jakub Kindl in an effort to both spark offense and plug a porous blue line. Kindl joins Tomas Jurco as a healthy scratch.

Jimmy Howard gets the start in net for the Red Wings. Petr Mrazek will get the nod to close out the trip in Vancouver.

Game time is 9:00 PM on FSD.

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