Flames-Red Wings Preview
GAME: Calgary Flames (1-1-0) at Detroit Red Wings (2-0-0).
TIME: Sunday, 4:00 p.m. EDT.
Judging from their first two games of the season, the Detroit Red Wings could be doing a lot of scoring this season.
After scoring nine goals through two games, the undefeated Red Wings take on the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena.
Detroit opened the season with a home-and-home sweep of the St. Louis Blues.
Pavel Datsyuk scored a goal 95 seconds into the game and later added an assist, leading the Red Wings to a 5-1 victory over the visiting Blues on Wednesday. The following night, Detroit took a 4-1 lead into the third period and held on for a 4-3 victory in St. Louis.
The Red Wings escaped with that win despite a third period which saw them get outshot 11-4 and get called for four penalties.
Coach Mike Babcock hopes his team can quickly adjust to the referees calling the games tighter this season.
"It's not as easy to protect a lead," Babcock said. "It's going to be a challenge, but that's the way it is. We'll just have to adjust."
The Red Wings just added a player they feel will benefit from the league's new rules.
Detroit re-signed Jason Woolley on Saturday to help fill the void left by fellow defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who will miss much of the season with a knee injury. Woolley is entering his 15th NHL season and spent the last two with Detroit, contributing 42 points in 117 games.
"We're very happy to have Jason return to the Red Wings," general manager Ken Holland said. "He's a veteran defenseman who handles the puck very well and should excel with the new rule changes in the NHL."
Having Datsyuk on the ice is already helping Babcock's team. After threatening to stay home and play in Russia for a second straight season, the 27-year-old center returned to Detroit for a $7.8 million, two-year contract last week.
Datsyuk had a team-high 30 goals with 38 assists in the 2003-04 season.
"I'm happy to be back in Detroit," Datsyuk said. "The same players play. I didn't come to the camp, but it's the same team. It's a good start, not only for me, but for the team."
Calgary, meanwhile, bounced back from a season-opening 6-1 loss at Minnesota by winning 3-1 at Columbus on Friday. Jarome Iginla set up Daymond Langkow's go-ahead goal early in the third period.
"It's huge," Langkow said. "We played in Minnesota and that was pretty much embarrassing. We came out tonight and played better."
The Flames visit Detroit and Colorado before playing their home opener on Thursday.
"It's tough to start with four games on the road," Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. "It's hard because you're still trying to get your game sort of in order. We're just trying to work on little things."
STANDINGS (through Oct. 7): Flames - 2 points, 4th place, Northwest Division. Red Wings - 4 points, 1st place, Central Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Flames - Langkow, 2 goals; Tony Amonte, 3 assists; Langkow and Amonte, 3 points; Chris Simon, 4 PIM. Red Wings - Robert Lang and Mikael Samuelsson, 2 goals; Jason Williams and Tomas Holmstrom, 3 assists; three tied with 3 points; Brendan Shanahan, 19 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Flames - Power play: 6.3 percent (1 for 16), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 62.5 percent (5 for 8), 30th. Red Wings - Power play: 21.4 percent (3 for 14), 11th. Penalty killing: 88.2 percent (15 for 17), 12th.
GOALTENDERS: Flames - Miikka Kiprusoff (1-1-0, 0 SO, 3.05 GAA); Philippe Sauve (no appearances). Red Wings - Manny Legace (2-0-0, 0, 2.02); Chris Osgood (no appearances).
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 3-1.
LAST MEETING: March. 16, 2004; Flames, 4-1. At Detroit, Kiprusoff had 25 saves to help the Flames avoid being swept in the season series.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Flames - 1-1-0 on the road; Red Wings - 1-0-0 at home.