Five game takeaways
The key points from the Flames-Wings game
CALGARY-- Five Takeaways from the Calgary-Detroit game January 7, 2010 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Calgary Flames 5-4 in a shootout Friday to sweep the Calgary Flames in the four-game season series.
Todd Bertuzzi scored the lone goal in the shootout while Alex Tanguay, Rene Bourque and Niklas Hagman were stopped by Jimmy Howard.
The Flames had some great chances in overtime -- Jarome Iginla was robbed by Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard -- as they enjoyed a four-on-three power play. Calgary generated six shots on net in the extra period.
Brian Rafalski, with his first two tallies of the season, Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves scored for the visiting Red Wings.
Calgary scored first and stretched their lead to 4-2 during the second period but the Red Wings battled back in the contest and scored the lone goal in the third period to force overtime and eventually.
This marked the second time this season a game between these two teams went to overtime.
Curtis Glencross found his confidence. Glencross, who had not scored in 18 games, potted two goals against the Wings and you could see he had pop back in his game. Just two nights prior in Vancouver, Glencross had a break on a penalty kill and shot the puck into the belly of Roberto Luongo. On Friday his first goal wasn't the prettiest thing in the world but it allowed him to loosen that grip on his stick. His second goal he outwaited Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard and fired it top shelf.
His effort seemed to spark some others, including Matt Stajan and Rene Bourque, who have also been struggling offensively lately. Stajan had an early assist and was involved in the play more than he has been recently.
Getting chances. The Flames fired 40-plus shots on Roberto Luongo on Wednesday in Vancouver but the quality of the shots were not the best. There were not enough rebounds in the mix and Luongo only had to make a handful of trul superior saves. On Friday, the Flames didn't have as many shots on net but there were far more quality chances. Assistant coach Dave Lowry said the secret to scoring was hitting the blue paint, getting to the net and making it difficult for goalies to see and/or react to pucks. The Flames did that Friday on their first two goals and that seemed to give them a confidence boost. As the game went on more and more players seemed to get to the tougher areas in front.
Mark Giordano. The defenceman might be one of the most underrated blueliner in the Western Conference.
He was a calming influence all game, using patience to move the puck out of the Flames zone and quarterbacking the power play with terrific poise.
Giordano also blocked five shots. One very solid all-around effort.
While the Flames gave up one power play goal, they were extremely good on the penalty kill. The one goal they gave up, to Patrick Eaves, came late in the second period and after they had done a terrific job killing off a lengthy five-on-three.
It is never easy to defend against the Red Wing power play -- they work the puck well through their umbrella and have Tomas Holmstrom planted on the crease, usually interfering with the goaltender. That was the case when the Flames killed off an early penalty in the third period with the score 4-3. Miikka Kiprusoff made some big saves while Robyn Regehr and Jay Bouwmeester did a nice job on the back end.
Midway through the third the Flames were forced to kill 26-seconds on another five-on-three with the lead hanging in the balance. Penalty-killing is about hard work and the penalty-killing units deserve some kudos on this night.
Former Flame Todd Bertuzzi picked up an assist on a power play goal in the second period to pull the Wings to within a goal. He was often out on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom. An interesting line with Zetterberg the waterbug and the two big bodies to crash the net. By the way, Bertuzzi now has points in his last six games. Bertuzzi, to some boo-birds, beat Miikka Kiprusoff on the backhand in the shootout.