FLAMES (35-25-4) at RED WINGS (36-15-11)
TV: TVA Sports, SNW, FS-D+
Season series: The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Jan. 7 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Flames center Mikael Backlund and Red Wings forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader each had a goal and an assist.
Flames team scope: Calgary is 3-2-0 on its season-high seven-game road trip after a 4-3 shootout win against the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Goalie Karri Ramo made 34 saves through overtime, then denied seven of eight Boston shooters in the tiebreaker. Ramo has started five straight games, so Jonas Hiller might play in the second half of the back-to-back. Defenceman David Schlemko, who the Flames claimed off waivers from the Dallas Stars last weekend, scored the deciding goal. “[Coach Bob Hartley] just asked me, ‘Are you good at these things?’ And I told him I was 1-for-1,” Schlemko said, according to the Flames’ Twitter account. Forward David Jones sustained a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. Forwards Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan each has scored in consecutive games; Monahan’s 23 goals lead the Flames, and Hudler’s 21 are second.
Red Wings team scope: The effects of Detroit’s six-game, 11-day Western Conference road trip were evident in its 2-1 overtime victory against the New York Rangers on Wednesday, when it was outshot 40-31. That fatigue carried into practice Thursday. “We weren’t real crisp today,” coach Mike Babcock told the Red Wings website. “We had a late game last night. I don’t think we had a ton of energy here today, but I expect our energy to be back and us to have no reason to [not] play a lot better than we did. We’ve got to tighten up our game again and get back to the level we need to be at.” One player who was fresh against New York was Zetterberg, who had two assists in 17:56 of ice time in his return to the lineup after missing four games because of a head injury. Defenceman Marek Zidlicky, acquired in a trade with the New Jersey Devils before the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday, scored the overtime winner. He played 17:44 and was second among Detroit defencemen with 2:28 of power-play time. Babcock, who said defenceman Jonathan Ericsson is banged up, will keep forwards Riley Sheahan, Gustav Nyquist and Stephen Weiss together despite not being pleased with his new third line’s performance against the Rangers. “They weren’t very good. Lots of us weren’t good though,” the coach told the Detroit Free Press. “We’ll see if it’s a line that can spend some time in the offensive zone. We’ll give it another try [Friday].”