It wasn’t a shutout this time, and Calgary put in a much better effort than they have in the two previous matches this season, but the Red Wings still came up with a 4-2 victory over the Flames.
This game had a much better flow to it than did the Red Wings’ Friday night game against Carolina. Even with the relative lack of penalties this time, the Red Wings opened the scoring on a power play resulting from an interference call against Stephane Yelle. Dmitri Bykov took a shot on net which was deflected by goalie Roman Turek. Sean Avery took the rebound behind the net and sent it to Darren McCarty, who passed it across to Brendan Shanahan waiting on the left side. The Flames had all turned towards the right in reaction to Bykov’s shot, and before they could get refocused, Shanahan let go a hard shot. Turek was partially screened by one of his own defensemen, and the puck rattled into the net.
The Flames had a chance to even the game while they were shorthanded. Jarome Iginla managed to get the puck and fly in all alone against Curtis Joseph, but Joseph flung himself out to take away the bottom half of the net, and Iginla couldn’t lift the shot high enough.
Calgary did tie the game with 7:35 left to play in the second period. Robyn Regehr made a shot from the left point which was deflected on its way through by Scott Nichol. The redirection caused the puck to be hard for Joseph to handle, and the rebound came free to Craig Conroy, who put it into the empty portion of the net.
Henrik Zetterberg stole the Flames’ momentum and quite probably cast a hush over all the sports bars in and around the city of Calgary just 32 seconds later. Jason Woolley banked a shot off the end boards which came right out to Zetterberg in front of the net, and Zetterberg put the puck in on the far side of Turek.
Sean Avery increased Detroit’s lead midway through the third period. The Flames made an ill-advised pass up the middle, and Avery, just off the bench, picked it off and went in alone against Turek. The puck sailed into the net high past Turek’s catching glove.
The Flames had a golden opportunity when Jesse Wallin was given a tripping penalty with less than two minutes to play, and they did what they could with it. They pulled Turek from the net so that they could go with six skaters against four. Conroy won the faceoff deep in the Red Wings’ zone and got the puck back to Toni Lydman at the right point. Lydman sent it across to Iginla in the high slot, and Iginla ripped a hard shot past Joseph.
Calgary pulled Turek out of the net again after the next faceoff, but this time it worked to the Red Wings’ advantage. Brett Hull cleared the puck from the zone up to Sergei Fedorov at center, and Fedorov’s shot edged into the empty net with 16.3 seconds remaining.
Turek stopped 14 of the 17 shots he faced over the night, giving him an 82% save percentage. Joseph stopped 31 of the 33 he faced, for a much more impressive 94% save percentage.
The Red Wings next opponent will be the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. The two teams will meet on Tuesday night at the Joe.
Pavel Datsyuk was out with a sprained knee. The team reports that he will be out for at least two weeks…. Chris Chelios was also out tonight, with a broken finger…. Brett Hull’s assist on Sergei Fedorov’s last second empty net goal saved Hull’s point streak and extended it to nine games.