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Wings get burned by Flames' comeback

by John Kreiser
The Detroit Red Wings hit the Calgary Flames with everything they had. It still wasn't enough to avoid a disheartening loss.

The Flames survived a first-period barrage, a 4-1 deficit and a late goal by the Wings that forced overtime to stun the defending Stanley Cup champions by winning 6-5 in a shootout. Newcomer Olli Jokinen, who had two goals in regulation, got the game-winner in the shootout.

"Nobody panicked. We just went out there the last 15 minutes and rolled (the lines) quick and kept pushing hard," said forward Jamie Lundmark, who scored twice in the Flames' comeback from three goals down. "We finally got a couple of goals and things turned around for us. It was a big win ... a big two points."

The Wings set an NHL season high with 28 shots on goal in the first period -- including 22 in a row in a 9:43 span. They led 4-1 late in the second period and appeared to be on their way to an easy victory.

But someone forgot to tell the Flames to lay down. Daymond Langkow's goal at 16:37 of the second period gave the Flames some life, and Calgary scored three times in a 2:02 span late in the third period, going ahead on Lundmark's goal with 1:20 left in regulation.

"I thought we got too passive (in the third period). We were backing in too much and giving them the red line to dump it in," Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "They were forechecking hard. We got away from playing our system late in the game."

The Wings did tie it on Dan Cleary's tip-in with 42 seconds left in regulation, but after shootout goals by Calgary's Mike Cammalleri and Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, Jokinen beat Ty Conklin to give the Flames the extra point.

"In the third period, we just let it go. We started making plays, nice plays, carrying the puck, moving the puck," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "That's what the Red Wings do from the drop. We haven't done that much lately, but we got back to it in the third period tonight. We've got to do that more."

The only team doing much of anything for the first two periods was Detroit.

The Wings surrendered a power-play goal by Jokinen 5:33 into the game before the barrage began. Henrik Zetterberg and Mikael Samuelsson scored power-play goals for Detroit during the onslaught -- but all things considered, the Flames could have been in a much bigger hole. Calgary successfully killed 4:00 of a 5-on-3 shorthanded situation. Samuelsson got his goal during a one-man advantage after the 5-on-3 had ended.
"I'm proud of the way we responded to get through the debacle of the first period," Calgary coach Mike Keenan said. "You have to stay persistent and focused and really work to come back on a team like this. We dominated the third period."
Lidstrom scored a power-play goal at 8:36 of the second period, and Valtteri Filppula's goal at 16:01 gave Detroit a seemingly comfortable lead. Langkow's goal gave Calgary a glimmer of hope, and the Flames completely controlled the third period -- taking the first 17 shots and grabbing the lead on Lundmark's second goal.
"They kept coming at us, we couldn't get it out of our zone," Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski said. "We couldn't sustain any pressure in our zone and it wore us out."
While Wings coach Mike Babcock felt his team did "a lot of good things" through the first two periods, he wasn't happy with the way his team couldn't put the Flames away.

"Any time you get to the last (television) timeout," he said, "you've got to win the game."

Material from wire services and team broadcast media was used in this report.

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