Shifted Lines Help Red Wings Rally Against Flames

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.

Red Wings – Flames Pregame Notes

The Red Wings wrap up their four-game homestand tonight, hosting the Calgary Flames.

For the Flames it will be there third game in four nights, meaning that backup goalie Curtis McElhinney will likely get the start. Ty Conklin will make his second start in a row for Detroit after picking up a 5-4 shootout win over the Blackhawks on Saturday.

Mike Babcock juggled the Red Wings’ lines in practice this week but will sticking with the combinations used on Saturday for Wednesday’s game. The lone change is Kirk Maltby‘s return to the lineup, leaving Derek Meech as a healthy scratch.