Third Liners Carry Red Wings Past Flames

The Red Wings got goals from their much-maligned third liners Wednesday night, with Mike Modano and Justin Abdelkader scoring to lead Detroit to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames.

Modano hadn’t scored since the season-opener. Abdelkader made only his second appearance of the season, skating on the third line in place of Jiri Hudler, who was a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.

The Flames opened the scoring on a four-on-three with 4:02 remaining in the first period. Mark Giordano one-timed a shot from the top of the left faceoff circle past Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard to make it 1-0.

Modano tied the game just 1:54 into the second. Danny Cleary fought off two Flames in the neutral zone to get the puck to Modano, who raced in alone and snapped a shot from the left faceoff dot past Miikka Kiprusoff‘s glove.

Abdelkader scored a similar goal with 7:55 remaining in the period. Pavel Datsyuk gained the zone and dealt the puck to a rushing Abdelkader, who moved up to the left side of the slot and snapped a shot past Kiprusoff on the glove side.

Jimmy Howard made 16 saves on 17 shots in his first game back after missing two with back spasms. Kiprusoff stopped 31 of Detroit’s 33 shots.

Calgary’s goal was the only power play goal of the night. The Flames had seven tries with the extra attacker, including a four-minute power play in the game’s closing minutes. The Red Wings also had seven power plays.

Detroit will be back in action on Friday when they visit the Edmonton Oilers.

Osgood Injures Groin in Practice; Howard, Ericsson to Play Wednesday

Detroit Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood left practice early on Monday, suffering from a sore groin.

Osgood went to the hospital for tests. His status for the team’s three-game Western Canada road trip is unknown.

“Groin soreness and he’s being evaluated, so when I talk about groins normally that means day-to-day and then two weeks later we talk about it again,” head coach Mike Babcock said. “And for a goalie, it usually means day-to-day and three weeks later we talk about it.”

Jimmy Howard will return to the Detroit crease as the Red Wings visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday and could play back-to-back in Edmonton and Vancouver over the weekend.

“Howie’s a young guy,” Babcock said, “he can probably play back-to-back, but we’ll see.”

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will also return to the Red Wings’ lineup on Wednesday. Doug Janik was sent back to the Grand Rapids Griffins to make room in the lineup.