At this time of year, with the playoffs on the line, the hunger to win makes a big difference. There's no doubt in the mind of Detroit coach Mike Babcock while team was hungrier Tuesday night.
The visiting Calgary Flames got goals 91 seconds apart by Jarome Iginla and Rene Bourque to overcome a 2-1 third-period deficit and beat the Red Wings 4-2, moving past Detroit and into eighth place in the Western Conference.
Calgary completely dominated the final 20 minutes, leaving Babcock frustrated.
"We got outshot 15-4 at home in the third period in a game that desperation on both sides should show," he said. "We were playing against a team that wants to get in the playoffs. We need to show that we want to be in as well."
There was no doubt that the Flames want to be in.
"Obviously, you could tell how much was on the line," said Iginla, who snapped a 19-game goal-less streak against the Red Wings when he backhanded home a rebound at 5:45 of the third period to make it 2-2. It was his first goal against Detroit since March 3, 2004.
"It's been a while," he said. "It felt good."
Since Iginla's last goal against Detroit, he scored enough against everybody else to rank fourth in the NHL in goals.
"He's one of the premier scorers in the league," Detroit's Jason Williams said. "It's tough to keep a guy like that off the scoreboard."
The Flames moved into eighth place in the West with 75 points -- and 16 games left in the regular season. They are one point ahead of the two-time defending Western Conference champions.
"Every game is such a big game and we have to treat each one like a playoff game," Calgary coach Brent Suter said.
Detroit lost a chance to win a third straight game and fourth out of five since the Olympic break. Inconsistency more than injuries has become the biggest problem for the Red Wings, 8-8-6 the last two months.
"We play one, then not the next one," Babcock said. "We need to put a string together."
If Detroit doesn't do so, a remarkable run might end. The Red Wings have been in the playoffs for 18 consecutive seasons, the longest active streak in sports.
"Losing tonight definitely makes it a little harder on ourselves," Williams said. "It's not going to be easy."
Calgary's Daymond Langkow scored 5:18 into the second period after a scoreless opening 20 minutes. But Pavel Datsyuk tied it at 10:40, and Tomas Holmstrom's power-play deflection at 16:29 put Detroit ahead.
But the third period belonged to the Flames. After Iginla ended his drought against Detroit to tie the game, Bourque scored the winner at 7:16.
The Red Wings had a power play shortly after falling behind, but couldn't take advantage, then got called for two penalties. Detroit got a last chance when Ian White was called for tripping with 2:45 left in the game to set up a 4-on-4 situation and a power play that lasted just less than a minute.
Howard was pulled, giving Detroit a two-man skating advantage, but couldn't beat Kiprusoff and Christopher Higgins hit the empty net with 45 seconds left, just as White's penalty expired.
Babcock wasn't sugar-coating his thoughts on why the Flames went home with two points.
"If you look at the whole 60 minutes," Babcock said, "I think the team that worked the hardest won the game."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
|Daymond Langkow (13) ASST: Ian White (21)|
1 - 0 CGY
|Pavel Datsyuk (20) ASST: Tomas Holmstrom (12), Brian Rafalski (28)|
1 - 1 Tie
|PPG - Tomas Holmstrom (18) ASST: Nicklas Lidstrom (33), Brian Rafalski (29)|
2 - 1 DET
|Jarome Iginla (31) ASST: Rene Bourque (28), Matt Stajan (30)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Rene Bourque (20) ASST: Jarome Iginla (33), Robyn Regehr (14)|
3 - 2 CGY
|EN - Chris Higgins (7) ASST: NONE|
4 - 2 CGY
|Jay Bouwmeester Holding against Todd Bertuzzi|
|Niklas Hagman Too many men/ice - bench|
|Ian White Hooking against Drew Miller|
|Steve Staios Hooking against Jason Williams|
|Todd Bertuzzi Slashing against Niklas Hagman|
|Brian Rafalski Hi-sticking against Matt Stajan|
|Ian White Tripping against Drew Miller|