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Wings, Flames battle for playoff spot

by Brian Compton
RED WINGS (33-23-12) at FLAMES (34-25-9)

Last 10: Detroit 6-2-2; Calgary 5-4-1.

Season Series: This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Calgary improved to 2-1 against the Wings with its 4-2 win on March 9 at Joe Louis Arena. Jarome Iginla and Rene Bourque scored 91 seconds apart in the third period.

Big Story: Eighth place in the Western Conference is on the line in this one, as Detroit enters Monday's action just one point ahead of the Flames. Calgary had an opportunity to pull ahead on Sunday night, but dropped a 3-1 decision at Vancouver.

Team Scope:

Red Wings: Detroit made it two in a row on Saturday night, as Brian Rafalski scored a power-play goal 31 seconds into overtime to lift the Red Wings to a 3-2 victory against the Buffalo Sabres at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit has won five of its seven games since the Olympic break.

"Every point is crucial," Rafalski said. "I'm glad we got two."

Flames: Calgary got off to a rough start on Sunday against the Canucks, as it was outshot 20-6 and allowed three goals in the first period. The loss snapped the Flames' four-game winning streak.

"Obviously, (Monday) night's game is huge for us, but this time of year it shouldn't take much to get ready to play -- especially being in the situation we're in," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. "Getting ready to play should be the easy part."

Who's Hot: Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk has four goals in his last five games.

Injury Report: Detroit forward Kirk Maltby is likely done for the season with a shoulder injury. … Calgary is boasting a healthy lineup.

Stat Pack: Flames forward Rene Bourque appeared in his 300th NHL game on Sunday at Vancouver. He is in the midst of his second straight 20-goal campaign.

Puck Drop: "No one is challenging themselves more than Z. These are proud guys, they know how good they are capable of being. He wants to be that good every night. We tried to give him as much help as we could with linemates. Fil is a good passer, we just felt that might be a good situation for him, and try to work it out. He's got to feel good about himself, and that's real important." -- Wings coach Mike Babcock on putting Henrik Zetterberg on a line with Valtteri Filppula and Dan Cleary
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