A late burn from the Flames torched Detroit’s chances of breaking their losing streak. Calgary captain Mark Giordano scored two goals including the game winner in overtime to beat the Red Wings 3-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome Friday night. It ended their four game losing streak at home while increasing Detroit’s woes on the road.
The Red Wings got some bad news that was worse than their current losing streak. Newly acquired defenseman Brad Richards suffered a back injury after they lost to the Edmonton Oilers Wednesday night. With their three game losing streak looming over their heads, the Red Wings knew that changes needed to be made not only on defense but on their lines as well.
What seemed to have worked well in the first few games disappeared causing concern among the team. Fortunately a new page can be made as they take on the Flames who are in a struggle themselves. The 1-5-0 Flames are desperate for a victory as they have yet to win a game on home ice.
In the first period, Calgary came out swinging as they attacked the Red Wings on their possession. They held off Detroit from taking any shots, which concerned everyone on the bench. They eventually got their offense going before winning a chance on the man advantage. It was the key to increasing pressure on Flames goaltender Jonas Hiller.
41 seconds into their power play, the Red Wings made a play along the backline before Mike Green and captain Henrik Zetterberg set up Gustav Nyquist to score his second of the season. It gave Detroit their second goal in 19 power plays indicating that it was a start for improvement.
The Red Wings wouldn’t be able to celebrate for long, as the Flames were getting ready to respond. They made it look easy moving the puck to the far end where Giordano scored on a wrist shot to tie the game at one. Left-winger Johnny Gaudreau notched his seventh assist on the year.
Detroit couldn’t allow themselves to be on an even keel with the Flames and did something about it. They were awarded another power play where Brendan Smith made good on it scoring a wrister from center to get his first goal of the season.
Frustration hit the Flames as they found themselves down on the scoreboard. It led former Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler to pick a fight with a Detroit player. He chose to duke it out with Landon Ferraro, as the youngster was more than ready to throw down. It was broken up as he tried to take off Hudler’s helmet sending both to locker room. The heat increased as the teams got into a scuffle near the boards sending another pair of players to the box. It didn’t change the score as Detroit held on while outshooting Calgary 13-8.
The Flames once again, made the opening of the period theirs to work on making the game even. The efforts went silent, as Detroit’s defense was solid in front of Jimmy Howard. The team increased the block shots while stopping six through the first ten minutes. They added another six shots to the Red Wings net but couldn’t get the score to a tie. Mason Raymond took a shot from the boards in the Detroit zone but the puck went off the post and bounced onto Howard and back and forth before being cleared.
They gained another chance on Kyle Quincey’s second interference call, but they failed to make anything of it. In total, Calgary shot 16 times on Howard, as their mission to tie became very serious going into the third.
They fought tooth and nail to get time with the puck, but despite their efforts to fire at the Red Wings net, they couldn’t get the tying goal behind Howard who stopped every puck shot at him. His defense helped out a ton clearing loose pucks near the crease to try and move it into an offensive rush. When it was their time, Calgary ran alongside trying to steal the puck away and take more time with it. Half the period went into the books with Detroit still hanging on to their lead.
When the time came for the Red Wings to return to offense, their one obstacle was Hiller who had been a pain for Detroit in the past. He was again giving them a hard time making big saves in the crease that included a drive from Tomas Tatar that he blocked with the leg pad.
Time began to wind to an end as the Flames continued to sit down a goal looking to tie the game any way they could. With just 90 seconds left, Jonas Hiller was pulled from the net give his team a sixth man. It ended up working out for the on a drive from Joe Coleborne that went off a Red Wings player before getting into the back of the net to tie the game with 1:02 left.
It was his first of the season and the one that inevitably took the game into overtime. It was Detroit’s first time playing 3 on 3 in the regular season and would ultimately test them for five minutes.
Howard was challenged right away with two back-to-back shots that he somehow made the stops on. Hiller successfully approached the scenario the same way, denying Teemu Pulkkinen a point blank shot that would have ended the game. It ended up moving back in favor of Calgary who spent their moments in the Red Wings zone waiting to strike. It came on the stick of the captain who took the puck from Gaudreau scoring on a backhander that gave them a much-needed win at home.
It was Giordano’s third of the season and one he wont soon forget as the leader became the hero of the weekend. While they hope to make something from a big win, the Red Wings move westward to end their struggling road trip in Vancouver when they play the Canucks Saturday night.