November 3, 2011

Detroit Redwings V Calgary Flames (Game Recap)

Detroit were trying to snap a horrible run that had seen them lose the last 5 games in a row against one of the Western Conference teams currently sat below them in the standings.

Jiri Hudler was back in the lineup in place of Patrick Eaves whilst Mike Commodore started his first game for Detroit after being out injured for the start of the season.

The first 5 minutes was fast and furious without either team creating a notable scoring chance as the whistle blew only once within that time span.

Detroit started with Datsyuk and Zetterberg on different lines to try and create some offense that had been missing for the last 5 games.

Niklas Kronwall had a great chance 7 minutes in but Kipprosuf stood firm as the puck found the defenceman in between the circles but he couldn’t finish off a nice move. A 2 minute powerplay chance followed for the Redwings but they couldn’t create anything clear cut on that chance either and the game was still tied halfway through the 1st.

Calgary had a 2 minute powerplay themselves which was killed off easily by Detroit but they took the lead through Lee Stempniak as he swept the puck past Howard near post after a wide shot from the blue line.
That was the only goal of the 1st as Detroit outshot Calgary 7-5. Calgary were dominant  in the faceoff circle though, winning  12 draws to 4. If Detroit were looking for some sort of scoring inspiration it certainly didn’t come in the opening stanza.

An early penalty on Hudler in the 2nd gave Calgary their 2nd powerplay chance and 2nd goal of the game as Iginla rocketed a one timer past Howard.

Detroit still needed to get some offence going and were given the chance with just over 6 minutes gone in the 2nd as Scott Hannan sat in the box after he shoved Hudler into the boards pretty clumsily. Hudler was cut badly but the call was only a 2 minutes for holding.

That 2 minutes was enough for Detroit to make it 2-1 though as a nice play from Ian White set up Kronwall to slap a shot towards the net which hit Dan Cleary in the chest and bounced in over the line.

Detroit found their step a bit more for the rest of the 2nd period but couldn’t tie the game up as a late call on Kronwall would mean Calgary headed into the 3rd on the powerplay.

Detroit managed to kill that early Calgary penalty off and some great play after saw Abdelkader / Helm / Hudler line really put the pressure on the Flames without putting the puck in the net.

As the Redwings started to get that ascendancy and looked like getting back the Flames hit a killer goal. A poor defensive play lead to another quick pass over to Iginla who hit his 2nd one timer of the game. Only the 15th shot on Howard and a 3rd Calgary goal. Nothing the netminder could do though as the Flames captain blew the puck past him.

Detroit really couldn’t get their step back after that goal as the Flames were happy just to wear the Redwings and the clock down. There was no attacking intention coming from the Calgary bench and who could blame them with a 2 goal lead against a Redwing team that were struggling to get anything going.

With just over 2 minutes left Darren Helm picked up a 2 minute tripping penalty in the offensive end. Detroit still pulled Howard to try and even the numbers on the ice up but Olli Jokinen got an emty netter to condemn Detroit to their 6th loss in a row.

6 goals in 6 games. No step. No jump. Silly penalties. A regular theme with the Redwings right now. For all the players that were big time scorers last season, none of them have shown anything so far this. Even the goal scored was a lucky deflection off the body of Cleary.

Calgary were poor too. They beat an even poorer Redwings team however – even though the 4-1 score line might slightly flatter them.

- Adam Yates

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