The Detroit Red Wings played uninspired hockey for over two periods Sunday night before waking up with ten minutes left, and beating the Calgary Flames 5-4 in overtime.
Things started out well with Johan Franzen scoring the game’s first goal on the power play two minutes into the game. Unfortunately, the Flames scored the next three goals including two from Flames captain Jerome Iginla, and the Wings could not capitalize on their next three power play opportunities.
A power play goal from Pavel Datsyuk early in the third period brought the Wings to within a goal, at 3-2, and broke a 14-game power play goal drought for Datsyuk. The elation was short-lived as Alex Tanguay gave the Flames back their two-goal lead after cleaning up a Brian Rafalski miscue just four minutes later.
It was all Red Wings after Tanguay’s goal.
Henrik Zetterberg took advantage of a 4-on-4 opportunity with nine minutes left in the game beating Flames goalie Mikka Kiprusoff with a back-hand from between the circles. It was the sixth goal of the season for Zetterberg, but he was not done scoring. When a Jay Bouwmeester interference penalty gave the Wings a power play with less than two minutes to go; Zetterberg drove home a Datsyuk pass with three seconds remaining to send the game into overtime. It was Zetterberg’s first power play goal in ten games.
Just 98 seconds into overtime hard-work from Darren Helm led to the game-winner from captain Nicklas Lidstrom. Lidstrom’s third of the season gave the Wings a 5-0-1 record in their final game of a six-game home stand.
Coach Mike Babcock continued to shuffle his lines. Tonight Jiri Hudler started on the first line, and Datsyuk played on the second line with Tomas Holmstrom and Valtteri Filppula. This was short-lived though as Datsyuk was back playing with Zetterberg and Franzen in the third period.
Danny Cleary left the game in the second period after a hard check from Flames defenseman Mark Giordano. The hit appeared to hurt Cleary’s shoulder, and he did not return to the ice. His status was listed as an upper body injury.
The Western Conference leading Wings will now travel south for a game against the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday night.
About the Author
Written by Jeremy Klumpp
I am a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a degree in Electronic Media and Film. For two years I wrote a baseball blog, "Ground Rule Double," and have contributed to a book on the 1968 Detroit Tigers. If you want to read my non-sports thoughts head to jklumpp1.posterous.com.