Detroit at Calgary (3/15/10)

Tonight’s Red Wings game was on the road against the Calgary Flames. It was a head to head matchup between two teams that are directly battling each other for the eighth playoff spot. Detroit had something to prove tonight since they gave up three unanswered goals in the third period against Calgary last Tuesday to lose the game. The goalies tonight were Jimmy Howard and Miikka Kiprusoff. The Flames were one point behind the Wings coming into this game so it was a must win for the Red Wings. If they lost, the Flames would go up by one but if they won they’d be three points ahead of the Flames.

Early in the first period the Red Wings turned the puck over. They were trying to get out of their own zone and Conroy jumped on an errant pass. He went to the net and shot the puck. Howard stopped it but Conroy came back and got another whack at it. He didn’t miss the second time and the Red Wings were in the hole early.

Although they were outscored one to nothing, the Red Wings played really well in the first period. Drew Miller was especially effective. The shots on goal were even but the Wings had three times as many scoring chances as the Flames. Unfortunately, Kiprusoff stopped them all so the period ended with Detroit trailing by one.

In the second period the Red Wings seemed to turn it up even more. They were getting chance after chance and pressuring hard. The game had a great pace to it. The Red Wings were moving the puck at will and creating lots of opportunities.

Towards the end of the second period the Wings finally got a power play, their first of the game. During the power play Glencross had a shorthanded chance and was hooked with by Zetterberg. He was awarded a penalty shot. Howard came out to challenge and stopped him cold. The Red Wings power play continued. Rafalski got the puck to Datsyuk with Holmstrom screening in front. Datsyuk took the puck towards the net, made a few moves and fired. It was a perfect shot placed where Kiprusoff could hardly see it until the last second. It found the top, far corner and tied the game at one.

In the third period Rafalski was called for high sticking. It was unintentional but it drew blood so it was an automatic double minor. The Red Wings went to work on the penalty kill and shut down the Flames. For four minutes the Flames tried unsuccessfully to put together some offense. The Red Wings killed it off nicely and kept the game tied.

The Wings continued to pressure hard for the rest of the third period but the score was holding fast. Then, with less than a minute and a half to go, Stuart made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone. Franzen picked it up and circled back to the point to get some room. He fired with Holmstrom in front. The puck was actually a pass. It was headed well wide and Holmstrom redirected it into the net for the go ahead goal. It was an amazing deflection off the shaft of the stick.

With 1:12 left Flames called a timeout and pulled the goalie. With 14 seconds left the Red Wings took their timeout to set up for a faceoff in their own zone. They lost that draw but the puck was deflected out of play. They lost the next draw, too but the Wings got control and cleared it as time ran out.

What a great win this was for the Wings. They really needed this one and they came together and played a very good, complete game. Now they stay in eighth place and are three points up on Calgary. Great job, guys!

This 2-1 win brings us to:
34-23-12
80 points

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