By Christy Hammond
The Detroit Red Wings (44-15-9) fell to the Calgary Flames (40-22-6) in the shootout, 6-5. The game was a tale of two teams. In the first two periods, Detroit outshot Calgary 39-13 and led the game by a 4-2 margin. However, the Wings were only able to get off two shots in the third period while the Flames posted 17 shots, scoring three times to grab the late lead. Fortunately, a goal by Dan Cleary with 42 seconds remaining sent the game into overtime.
It marked the second straight game that Detroit has taken the lead, but was unable to close the deal in regulation. The shootout win for Calgary snapped a three-game losing streak. Despite the loss, Detroit moved into the lead of the Western Conference and is tied atop the NHL standings alongside the Boston Bruins.
After being sent to Calgary from Phoenix on the trade deadline, Olli Jokinen has registered five goals in his first five games with the Flames. On Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena, Jokinen tallied two goals in regulation and then scored the game-winner in the shootout to earn first star honors. He opened the scoring 5:33 into the first while Calgary was on the power play.
Less than six minutes later, the Wings continued to take advantage of their power-play opportunities with a goal from Mikael Samuelsson. Sammy was down low in the left faceoff circle and was able to one-time it on a quick pass from Tomas Kopecky.
Lidstrom made it three straight power-play markers for the Wings at 8:36 in the middle frame. The captain scored on a hard shot from the slot just outside the right face-off circle. Brian Rafalski and Datsyuk pitched in with the helpers.
At 16:02 in the second, Valtteri Filppula made it 4-1 when he beat goaltender Miikka Kipprusoff on a wrist shot from the left faceoff dot. Lidstrom notched his third offensive point of the night on the play, earning him the game’s second star.
Over the next 20 minutes, Detroit watched the Flames score four unanswered goals to grab a 5-4 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game. By then, most Wings fans had become completely discouraged as the Wings only had one shot on goal in the period. However, Cleary scored on Detroit’s second shot at 19:18 to push the game into extra time. Datsyuk’s assist was his third of the night. Tomas Holmstrom also earned an assist in his 800th career game.
Both teams were held scoreless in overtime, resulting in a shootout at the Joe. Datsyuk scored first and former Wolverine Mike Cammalleri followed up with a shootout tally of his own. Zetterberg, Calgary’s captain Jarome Iginla and Detroit’s Jiri Hudler failed to convert on their chances. Jokinen’s shootout marker was the game-winner.
Detroit will head to St. Louis to take on the Blues this Saturday evening in the first game of a back-to-back road trip.