After Saturday afternoon’s disappointing loss against St. Louis, the Calgary Flames hoped for a more consistent effort (and two points) tonight in Detroit. Unfortunately, their trip to the Motor City turned into a nightmare in the second period as the Flames gave up three goals in succession after opening the scoring and never really got back into it.
The result? A 4-2 setback to the Red Wings, ending their four-game road trip at two wins and two losses and seemingly halting the momentum they’d built up over the preceding seven games.
Nobody scored in the first period, though the Red Wings really pushed hard early and the Flames had to battle back. Overall, the Flames led in shots 15-13 and shot attempts were 20-20 apiece. Unfortunately, this does reflect that the game was a bit of a track meet in that period.
Plan the parade, because the Flames actually scored a power-play goal. A couple minutes into the second, Dennis Wideman scored his first of the season – I don’t think he’s matching last season’s output, gang – and that made it 1-0. It’s at this point that the Red Wings probably went “We’re losing to Calgary?” and turned it up. Also at this point: the Flames became a bit of a clown show in their own end. As a result? Dylan Larkin and Brad Richards scored 45 seconds apart. The Flames pushed back a bit afterwards, but they also gave up another goal late in the period to Gustav Nyquist – late-period goals are their thing this season – and they trailed 3-1 after two periods. Shots were 14-5 Detroit and attempts were 19-8 for the Wings. Yes, the period was generally that lopsided.
The Red Wings defended fairly intelligently in the third, and the Flames got scrambly to try to get back into it. Dougie Hamilton scored late but Justin Abdelkader scored into an empty net to ice it. Shots were even at 8-8, while the Flames had a 21-13 attempts edge.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
The good news? Their power-play managed to score.
The bad news? Their even-strength defensive-zone play suffered, particularly in the third period, and they were unable to respond really to Detroit’s second period goals. They’re a streaky team, really, and they’ve had stretches this year where they’re like a panicky surgeon – the patient bleeds out before they really figure out what’s going on and by that point the patient’s stable, but they’re also dead.
But hey, they won the special teams battle so…silver lining?
Let’s go with Mark Giordano. His possession game was strong and defensively he bounced back from a really sub-par game yesterday in St. Louis. And he played nearly 24 minutes in the team’s second game in 30 hours.
With their road trip behind them – their final one of 2015 – the Flames return home for their final contest before the holiday break: a Tuesday match-up with the Winnipeg Jets!