November 25, 2011

RedWings Thump Flames and Look Forward to Bruins Tonight

Detroit and Calgary met for the 2nd time this season with the Red Wings looking to avenge a 4-1 loss last time out.

Ian White was back on the Detroit D after recovering from a fractured cheek bone with Brendan Smith going back to the Grand Rapids.  A bright opening 5 minutes from Detroit didn’t lead to many shots on goal but a lot of puck possession and time in the Flames zone.  This lead to the first penalty of the game going to Calgary and the first goal of the game going to Detroit on the powerplay. Lidstrom fired in a shot from the blue line, aiming purposely wide as he does on many occasion and Holmstrom redirected the puck infront of the net and in behind Kiprusoff. The first period remained a pretty even affair with neither team firing in many quality shots on net. Detroit had more of the possession and Jonathon Ericsson had a good chance in the closing seconds of the period to make it a 2-0 lead but fired the puck off not after finding himself some open ice between the circles.

The Flames started the 2nd period by tying the game up and it was their captain Jerome Iginla who just seems to have the knack of scoring against the Red Wings. A Quick 3 on 2 break saw the forward get free on his right and fire the puck through the legs of Jimmy Howard. 3 minutes in and the Flames had turned the game around as Brendan Morrison skated down the other wing unchallenged and blew the puck past Howard, firing it in off the far post. Maybe one Howard wishes he could have back.
Detroit came back hard at the flames but Kiprusoff pulled off 2 magical saves, 1st on Franzen at one post and then less than 20 seconds later a brilliant toe save off Helm as Detroit found some excellent one touch passing to get Helm the chance right in the crease. Detroit killed off the Flames 1st powerplay of the game and then tied the game at 2-2 soon after as Ian White fired a puck at the net through traffic that somehow squeaked in past Kiprusoff. Detroit continued to put pressure on the Flames net but it was the Calgary team that nearly went into the 3rd period with the lead as Howard was required to be at his best to pull off a magnificent glove save going into the final 10 seconds of the 2nd.
Drew Miller took a puck straight to the mouth area during the period as well which saw him leave the game for a while but he was back on the bench for the start of the 3rd. Detroit took a 3-2 lead with an early powerplay goal and a 2nd of the night for Holmstrom. White found Datsyuk on the boards and he found a wide open Holmstrom infront of the net. With his back to Kiprusoff he took the pass on his forehand to his back hand and put it in to the net as the despairing Flames defence knocked him over in the crease. It was soon level again as Calgary had a powerplay chance and TJ Brodie went cross ice to find Olli Jokkinen who fired the puck past a diving Helm and Howard. Bertuzzi then hit a post for Detroit and TJ Brodie took a hard wrist shot that foiled Howard at first but he managed to reach back to stop the puck trickling over the line. With 12 minutes left and the game even poised both teams had started to go end to end.

Both teams then started to rack up penalties as first Kindl took 2 minutes for a hook and Morrison 2 minutes for diving to give the game some open ice 4 on 4 play. Cleary then went for hooking as well, giving the Flames a 4 on 3 powerplay before that was wiped when Giordano took a 2 minute tripping penalty and Glencross stupidly took 2 minutes for a 2 handed slash. All these penalties were taken over a period of just over 2 minutes and eventually led to a 5 on 3 for the Red Wings. Lidstrom struck a post before Datsyuk fired the puck across the cross the crease and Bouwmeester deflected it through Kiprusoff with his skate for a 4-3 Red Wings lead.

Detroit still had over a minute of 5 on 4 time left and it was just as this expired that Fillpula made it 5-3, firing a backhand top shelf on the Flames netminder. Again, he was unlucky as Bouwmeester’s stick deflected the puck higher and up into the corner of the net. This killed the game for the Flames and Detroit kept possession well for the final 6 minutes without allowing Calgary any clear chances to get back into the game. Detroit put to bed bad memories of that 4-1 loss earlier in the season with a good win, even if not their best performance defensively. Ian White chalked up 1+2 on his return whilst Datysuk had a 3 point night and is red hot with 8 points in 4 games.

- Adam Yates

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