Red Wings continue road trip against Flames
Thursday, 10.31.2013 / 8:23 PM
David Kalan - NHL.com Staff WriterRED WINGS (7-4-2) at FLAMES (5-5-2)
TV: FS-D+, SNET-W
Detroit 5-3-2; Calgary 4-5-1
This is the first game between the Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames this season. The Flames won all three meetings with the Red Wings in 2012-13, including a 3-2 victory the last time they faced at Scotiabank Saddledome on April 17.
Now that Detroit has moved to the Eastern Conference, the Red Wings and Flames will face each other just twice each season. The two teams kick off their abbreviated season series Friday with each trying to pull itself out of the logjam in its respective divisions.
The Red Wings come to Calgary off a much-needed win against the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. After mustering two points (0-1-2) during a three-game homestand, Detroit opened its road trip through Western Canada by edging the Canucks 2-1 to snap a four-game skid.
The Red Wings limited Vancouver to 20 shots against Jimmy Howard by playing the kind of puck-possession game coach Mike Babcock has been preaching.
"We had the puck a lot more because we executed out of our defensive zone fast, we didn't waste a lot of time in there and we got through neutral zone, and in the end had way more puck possession because of it and that's the right way to play," Babcock said. "Tonight was a good step for our team. Now we've got to match it."
Calgary enters its matchup with Detroit looking to rebound from a 4-2 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the team's first in regulation at home this season. The Flames outshot Toronto 43-22 but were able to beat Toronto goaltender Jonathan Bernier only twice.
"I felt that we had a good game," Flames coach Bob Hartley said after the loss to Toronto. "We are not very pleased with the result, but I don't know what we could have done more. Offensively we generated a lot. Our forechecking was good. Our puck decisions in the offensive zone were very good, but Bernier basically stole the game away from us."
The Flames struggled on the road in the first month of the season, which makes the chance to pick up two points against Detroit all the more important. Starting on Sunday, Calgary will embark on a four-game trip to face the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche.
Daniel Alfredsson has scored in back-to-back games for the Red Wings. ... Dennis Wideman has four assists in his past three games for the Flames.
Detroit's Johan Franzen (undisclosed) is expected to return after missing the game in Vancouver. Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder injury) and Darren Helm (back injury) remain on IR … Flames defenseman Christopher Breen (strained abdominal) did not play against Toronto and is questionable to face Detroit. Lee Stempniak (broken foot) is out indefinitely and captain Mark Giordano (broken ankle) is expected to be out 6-8 weeks.