Red Wings-Flames Preview
GAME: Detroit Red Wings (35-17-9-2) at Calgary Flames (31-23-5-3).
TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EST.
The Detroit Red Wings try to hold on to the top spot in the Western
Conference, while the Calgary Flames continue their battle for a playoff spot
when the teams meet for the second time this season.
Detroit is winless so far on its three-game road trip, tying Edmonton 1-1 on
Monday and losing 4-2 to Vancouver one night later.
The Red Wings, who won six of seven prior to the trip, have had their lead
in the conference shrink to one point over the Northwest Division-leading
Avalanche. Colorado hosts the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.
Detroit was tied at 2 with Vancouver after the second period, but seemed to
wear down in the third, especially after losing veteran defenseman Chris
Chelios to a shoulder injury late in the second.
"With Chelly going down in the second period we were down to five
defensemen, and we spent a lot of time in our own end," Detroit's Nicklas
Lidstrom said. "I thought that made us more tired."
Chelios appeared to injure his left shoulder when Vancouver's Todd Bertuzzi
fell on him following a faceoff. The 42-year-old defenseman lay on the ice in
obvious pain while a trainer attended to him. He left the ice clutching his
left forearm or shoulder and went to the dressing room.
Detroit coach Dave Lewis said Chelios was day to day, but "probably won't
play in Calgary on Thursday night."
"I don't know what the term is, it's like a strain or something," Lewis
said. "We're going to wait till tomorrow and see how he feels."
Calgary got back on the winning track Tuesday with a 2-0 road victory over
The Flames began a five-game road trip with a 2-1 win over Minnesota last
Sunday, moving them into fifth place in the West. Calgary, which hasn't made
the playoffs since 1995-96, then went on to lose three straight before snapping
the skid in Denver.
The Flames are seven points behind the Canucks for fourth place in the
conference, which would give them home-ice advantage in the first round of the
postseason. Calgary, however, is just one point away from the eighth and final
playoff berth in the West.
"So many teams are close," said Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, the NHL
leader in goals-against average and save percentage. "This win was huge. Only
20 games left, and we have to win those games if we want to make the
STANDINGS: Red Wings - 81 points, 1st place, Central Division. Flames - 70
points, 3rd place, 10 PB, Northwest Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Red Wings - Pavel Datsyuk, 25 goals, 34 assists and 59 points;
Brendan Shanahan, 86 PIM. Flames - Jarome Iginla, 30 goals and 55 points;
Iginla and Craig Conroy, 25 assists; Krzysztof Oliwa, 190 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 24): Red Wings - Power play: 21.0 percent (54
for 257), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.6 percent (208 for 243), 4th. Flames
- Power play: 16.0 percent (44 for 275), 14th. Penalty killing: 84.5 percent
(218 for 258), 15th.
GOALTENDERS: Red Wings - Manny Legace (14-7-4, 1 SO, 2.09 GAA); Marc Lamothe
(0-0-1, 0.92). Flames - Kiprusoff (15-5-2, 2, 1.49); Roman Turek (4-9-0, 1,
SEASON SERIES: Red Wings, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: Nov. 4; Red Wings, 3-0. At Calgary, Alberta, Shanahan scored
twice, Darren McCarty added a goal and Steve Yzerman had two assists to back
Curtis Joseph's 42nd career shutout.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Wings - 12-12-6-2 on the road; Flames - 16-11-4-1 at