Red Wings-Flames Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings at Calgary Flames.
PLAYOFF SERIES: Western Conference semifinals; tied 1-1.
TIME: Tuesday, 9 p.m. EDT.
Jarome Iginla became a much more dangerous offensive player after he got
into a fight in the first round of the playoffs.
Apparently, the Calgary Flames captain is planning on using the same formula
in the conference semifinals against the top-seeded Detroit Red Wings.
After gaining a split in the first two games of this series on the road, the
Flames hope to get a boost from the home fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome in
The Flames should consider themselves fortunate to be returning home tied
because they've been outshot 61-34 while generating few scoring opportunities
in the first two games.
Following a 2-1 overtime victory in the series opener, Calgary was outplayed
badly in a 5-2 loss Saturday in Game 2.
Red Wings captain Steve Yzerman scored two goals in a 2:13 span of the
second period and Curtis Joseph needed to make just 14 saves.
"Not to say he hasn't had it, but I think he had that look in his eye that
I think most captains have when it's time for a big win and a big
performance," Detroit's Ray Whitney said of Yzerman. "He was nothing short of
spectacular in the way he played and the energy he showed."
Iginla, a finalist for the Hart Trophy as NHL MVP, was held without a point
for the second straight game and didn't register a shot Saturday. He made his
presence felt, however, dropping the gloves with 6-foot-5 defenseman Derian
Hatcher with 24 seconds left in regulation.
"Jarome's got that tough side of him," Flames forward Chuck Kobasew said.
"Hopefully this will get him a little more space."
Iginla started slowly in the first round against Vancouver, contributing one
goal and one assist in the first three games. After a fight with Canucks
defenseman Mattias Ohlund late in Game 3, the Calgary captain had four goals
and two assists in the final four games of the series.
Iginla knows his team won't be successful against Detroit without playing
"We've got to initiate more," he said. "We've got to skate a little bit
more, we've got to initiate a little bit more. When we did get a few chances it
was when we were playing our style and starting to get a few hits."
This series presents an even greater challenge for Iginla, who has had
difficulty finding room playing mostly against Detroit's Grind Line, led by
Kirk Maltby and Kris Draper. Yzerman replaced Darren McCarty on that unit for
"He's a great player, he has to expect extra attention," Draper said.
"It's not a question of one guy shutting down Jarome. It takes everyone on the
ice, the five-man unit."
That unit has been rounded out mostly by Hatcher and Chelios, a pair of
physical veteran defensemen.
Though they weren't satisfied with their performance Saturday, the
sixth-seeded Flames don't mind going home after earning a split in Detroit with
the talent-laden Red Wings, who had an NHL-high 109 points this season.
"We cannot be disappointed about the way we played," Calgary coach Darryl
Calgary is in the second round for the first time since winning the Stanley
Cup in 1989, while the Red Wings are aiming for their fourth title in eight
Detroit has been particularly dominant during the first period in the
playoffs, and that has continued against Calgary. In eight postseason games,
the Red Wings have outshot opponents 100-43 in the first 20 minutes, including
28-5 in this series.
Sutter isn't surprised that his team has had trouble generating offense
against the Wings.
"To think that you are going to get a whole bunch of chances against them
is not feasible. If you get 10, you got to score on two of them," he said.
Since replacing Manny Legace as Detroit's starting goalie for Game 5 against
Nashville in the quarterfinals, Joseph has stopped 64 of 69 shots in four
Another source of concern for the Flames is the fact that Detroit's power
play came alive in Game 3. The Red Wings were 3-for-6 with the man advantage
Saturday after scoring twice in 35 opportunities in the first seven playoff
While goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is arguably the biggest reason why Calgary is
in the second round for the first time in 15 years, he has struggled with his
consistency. Kiprusoff has given up five goals in five playoff wins, but
allowed 17 in four losses.
Already missing injured defensemen Denis Gauthier and Toni Lydman, the
Flames hope to have defenseman Rhett Warrener in the lineup Tuesday. Warrener
left Game 2 in the first period with blurry vision after he was clipped in the
left eye by Yzerman's stick.
"When we saw him leave the ice, it was pretty scary," Calgary assistant
coach Rich Preston said. "But doctors cleared him to fly home with us. You
always worry about the pressurization on airplanes, so that's good news. We'll
see how it goes."
Game 4 is Thursday at Calgary.
HOW THEY GOT HERE: Red Wings - 1st seed; beat Nashville Predators 4-2,
quarterfinals. Flames - 6th seed; beat Vancouver Canucks 4-3, quarterfinals.
PLAYOFF TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Robert Lang, Brett Hull and Yzerman, 3
goals; Pavel Datsyuk, 5 assists; Lang, 7 points; Brendan Shanahan, 18 PIM.
Flames - Iginla, 5 goals and 8 points; Craig Conroy, 5 assists, Iginla and
Ville Nieminen, 14 PIM.
PLAYOFF SPECIAL TEAMS: Red Wings - Power play: 12.2 percent (5 for 41).
Penalty killing: 97.3 percent (36 for 37). Flames - Power play: 12.5 percent (6
for 48). Penalty killing: 78.4 percent (40 for 51).
GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Joseph (3-1, 1 SO, 1.15 GAA); Manny Legace (2-2,
2.18). Flames - Kiprusoff (5-4, 1, 2.26); Roman Turek (no appearances).