Calgary Flames Post-Game: Locals flame out against Red Wings

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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The Calgary Flames played a really good first 10 minutes on Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings. Unfortunately, the game lasted longer than that. The Flames faded as the game went along and ended up losing by a 5-2 score to a Detroit team playing their third game in four nights on the road.

The rundown

The Flames peppered the Red Wings with shots for the first 10-12 minutes of the first period. Eventually they broke through and opened the scoring, through they did it shorthanded.
The Red Wings couldn’t hold onto the puck after a face-off win in the offensive zone and it dribbled back to Magnus Hellberg in net. Mikael Backlund’s forecheck caught Hellberg off-guard and caused a turnover. Elias Lindholm and Backlund executed a nice little give-and-go play, ending with Backlund firing the puck to the net-front area for a redirect from Lindholm that made it 1-0 Flames.
But the Red Wings tied things up before the period ended. With 61 seconds left in the frame, Tyler Bertuzzi won a battle along the wall and fired the puck to Dominik Kubalik in the high slot. Kubalik fired a puck that went off Michael Stone’s glove and redirected past Dan Vladar to make it a 1-1 game.
Early in the second period, Michael Stone was called for cross-checking in his own zone. 13 seconds into the man advantage for Detroit, the Red Wings cashed in. The Flames lost the face-off, and a couple passes later Robby Fabbri fired the puck past Vladar to make it 2-1 Red Wings.
The Flames rallied back, though, briefly. Tyler Toffoli sprang Dillon Dube for an almost-breakaway. The Red Wings’ defender kept up with Dube, but Dube simply opted to fire the puck, beating Hellberg top corner to tie the game at 2-2.
But the Flames’ defensive miscues continued to haunt ’em. Bertuzzi won a battle below the Flames’ goal line, getting whacked in the face but managing to move the puck to the front of the net. A couple passes later, and Kubalik fired the puck past Vladar to make it 3-2 Red Wings.
The Red Wings pulled away after that. Elias Lindholm was called for a tripping penalty in the offensive zone. 15 seconds into that power play, Detroit scored, as Bertuzzi got a gift of a tap-in off a great pass from Fabbri in front of the Flames net to make it 4-2.
The Red Wings made it 5-2 in the third period. Filip Zadina couldn’t get a shot off and was partially boxed out by the Flames’ defenders, but he shuffled the puck to Pius Suter, who fired a shot from a bad angle that squeaked past Vladar.
The Red Wings held on for the 5-2 victory.

Why the Flames lost

Oh boy, where to start?
The Flames’ defensive zone play was really scrambly and unstructured, and really seemed to have trouble with the constant movement of Detroit’s forecheck. Vladar didn’t have a great game, and so the Flames couldn’t get their goalie to bail them out when their defensive coverage led to strong chances against. And offensively, they just couldn’t generate enough high-danger scoring chances to make Hellberg’s evening particularly difficult.
The Flames had a strong first 12 minutes, but the Red Wings were stronger than them for the rest of the game.
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Red Warrior

Dube scored a gorgeous goal, so let’s give him the nod.

Turning point

The Flames seemed on their heels for much of the second period, but the fourth Red Wings’ goal was a back-breaker. Giving up two power play goals that early in the advantages just can’t happen.

This and that

Rasmus Andersson returned from missing three games after being hit by a car.

Up next

The Flames (25-19-11) are back in action on Saturday night when they welcome the New York Rangers to town in a rematch of their fantastic game earlier this month at Madison Square Garden.

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