Practice made perfect for Todd Bertuzzi
and the Detroit Red Wings
Bertuzzi, a former Flame, beat ex-teammate Miikka Kiprusoff for the only goal of the shootout, giving the Detroit Red Wings a 5-4 victory in Calgary on Friday night.
"I played here so I know Kip," said Bertuzzi, who was a Flame in 2008-09 before signing with Detroit, where he's spent the past two seasons. "He knows that I like to go in tight so I knew the poke check was coming. It was just a matter of me being quick with it and try to get it up."
After Jiri Hudler and Alex Tanguay each were stopped, Bertuzzi beat Kiprusoff with a nifty deke to his backhand. Jimmy Howard stepped Nicklas Hagman and Rene Bourque missed the net on Calgary's final chance.
Bertuzzi could have been the goat instead of the hero -- he spent the final 90 seconds of overtime in the penalty box watching his teammates try to kill off his slashing penalty.
It was a huge turn of events for Bertuzzi, who spent the final 90 seconds of overtime in the penalty box watching the Flames pour on the pressure in their quest for the winning goal. Howard's best stop in the 4-on-3 came when he scrambled across the crease to get his blocker on Jarome Iginla's shot.
Howard finished with 35 saves, including six in OT.
"We kept ourselves in it, gave ourselves a chance and we were able to get that fourth one, and battled through overtime and Howie made some big saves on that last power play," said defenseman Brian Rafalski, who tied it 4-4 on a harmless-looking 50-foot wrist shot at 8:16 of the third -- his second goal of the night and second of the season. "We found a way to get two points on the road and that's what you have to do."
Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves also scored for the Red Wings, who visit Vancouver on Saturday in a showdown between the Western Conference's top two teams.
"They're playing well right now so it's going to be a big game, obviously, if you look at the standings," Rafalski said.
Curtis Glencross had two goals and an assist for Calgary (18-20-4). Iginla and Anton Babchuk had the others. Babchuk had a pair of assists for the Flames, who couldn't hold a 4-2 lead.
"Obviously, we thought we deserved better," Glencross said. "We can't dwell on it. We all had a pretty good hockey game in here tonight."
However, coach Brent Sutter wasn't happy with the play of his goaltender.
"I'm not pointing fingers, I'm not going to do that, but there are saves that have to be made and they go through you," Sutter said after his team lost despite outshooting Detroit 39-27. "We deserved two points here tonight and we never got them."
Glencross, who had just one assist in his previous 17 games, had scored twice and added an assist before the game was 22 minutes old.
"It's nice to get that monkey off the back. It's been a battle. It's nice to finally get going again," said Glencross.
Babchuk's power-play goal midway through the second period made it 4-2, but the Wings got one back when Patrick Eaves connected during a power play with 18 seconds left in the period.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report