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Flames start trip with a visit to Detroit

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (8-10-0) at RED WINGS (12-3-2)

TV -- SNET-Calgary; FS-Detroit

Last 10 -- Calgary 3-7-0; Detroit 7-3-1

Season series -- The teams are already meeting for the third time this season. Detroit has won the first two, 4-2 in Detroit on Oct. 21 and 2-1 at Calgary on Nov. 3. The last meeting is Jan. 7 in Calgary.

Big story -- The Flames got a big confidence-booster for their road trip on Friday night, when they pummeled Chicago 7-2 at the Scotiabank Saddledome, ending an eight-game losing streak against the Hawks. They start a season-high five-game trip with their second visit of the season to Joe Louis Arena, where the Wings are coming off a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss to Minnesota on Friday night -- a game that saw Detroit overcome a 2-0 deficit but blow a 3-2 lead in the final two minutes before losing in OT.

Team Scope:

Flames -- The best news for Calgary in the rout of the Hawks wasn't the end of Chicago's dominance; rather, it was the fact that Jarome Iginla scored three times, matching his output for the season's first 17 games. The Flames are going nowhere if their captain doesn't find the net on a regular basis.

"It's huge," forward David Moss told the team's website. "For Iggy, he's a goal scorer and he's been getting chances. They happened to go in, and I think that's huge for him and big for our team too."

Red Wings -- Detroit wraps up a six-game stretch at The Joe, where the Wings are 8-1-2 this season and 4-0-1 during the homestand. But while getting a point after you trail 2-0 is nice, letting one slip away when you have a one-goal lead and less than two minutes to play isn't.

"I thought we played a good game," coach Mike Babcock said. "We did lots of good things, we were right on top of them, but the puck didn't go in the net when we had our opportunities and it went in the net for them."

Who's hot -- Flames center Alex Tanguay had 3 assists on Friday and has 1 goal and 6 points in his last four games. … Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard took the overtime loss on Friday but has won nine of his last 11 starts. Danny Cleary has goals in six of his last seven games, scoring eight times in that span.

Injury report -- Calgary is without center Olli Jokinen, who's sitting out the second of a three-game suspension. They've been without several players, including Raitis Ivanans, Adam Pardy, Daymond Langkow, on a long-term basis. … Howard is expected to play again because the Wings are still without goaltender Chris Osgood, who's been out nearly three weeks with a groin injury. Center Kris Draper is sidelined after abdominal surgery.

Stat pack -- The Flames have dropped three in a row to the Wings; they've never lost four straight to Detroit.

Puck drop -- The Flames leave Detroit and head East for four games against Atlantic Division teams -- clubs they don't see on a regular basis. Although it's a tight schedule, some of the players are looking forward to it.

"I like it," defenseman Mark Giordano said of the trip schedule. "Hopefully we start off well and get on a bit of roll, that's when it's the best. You go on the road and you start winning and it's fun. You're playing every day or every other day. Usually it's a good thing, if you can get on a little bit of a roll."

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