After wild games in Vancouver and Edmonton, the Detroit Red Wings were happy to end their five-game road trip with a quiet victory in Calgary.
Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom scored 59 seconds apart late in the second period as the road-weary Red Wings finished off their trip with a 3-1 victory over the Flames on Saturday night.
"This was a big game for us," Stuart said. "It kind of determined how we're going to look at this road trip."
The Wings head home to face Boston on Tuesday with a 2-1-2 record that included a come-from-behind 5-4 win at Vancouver on Tuesday and 6-5 shootout loss at Edmonton two nights later in which they trailed 4-0 and 5-1.
In both of those games, the Wings allowed early goals. They fell behind again this time, but not until 14:43 of the second period -- and Stuart got them even just 35 seconds later.
"The big thing was that we allowed goals on the first shift in each of those games," Stuart said. "Ozzie (Chris Osgood) made a couple of huge saves in the first minute when we were scrambling. That gave us the confidence to play our game."
Osgood stopped a booming slapper by Jay Bouwmeester before Curtis Glencross fired the rebound high and wide.
Holmstrom put the Wings ahead less than a minute after Stuart's goal by scoring from almost the same spot. Kirk Maltby hit the empty net with 44 seconds to play after the Wings stifled the Flames in the third period.
"We did smart things. We played tight defensively," forward Darren Helm said of the Wings' play in the third period. "Ozzie made some big saves when we needed them."
Calgary fell to 7-4-1 and lost its last two games to end a five-game homestand with a 3-2 record. Coach Brent Sutter wasn't happy with a number of his players afterward.
"We need guys bringing their 'A' game," he said. "We knew Detroit was going to come and play hard here tonight. We needed more from certain individuals."
Osgood rebounded from a quick hook in Vancouver on Tuesday -- he allowed two goals on four shots before being lifted -- with a solid 20-save performance. The Wings kept Flames captain Jarome Iginla from scoring a goal for the 18th consecutive time.
"I didn't think Jarome and Glennie (Glencross) had one of their better games," Sutter said.
The only reason the first period ended without a goal was Kiprusoff, who saved the best of his 10 saves for last when he robbed Kris Draper in the final 5 seconds. Mike Eaves made a perfect lead pass to Draper on a 2-on-1, but Kiprusoff went right to left in a split-second to stop what looked like a sure goal.
Detroit continued to get the better of the play in the second, only to see Calgary open the scoring at 14:43 on a fluke goal. Rene Bourque carried from the right corner behind the net, came out to Osgood's right and slid the puck into the crease. It hit Langkow, then deflected off a couple of Wings and slid into the net.
The lead lasted just 35 seconds. Ex-Flame Stuart tied it with a slap shot from the top of the right circle that beat Kiprusoff to the far side.
"You never want to give one up, especially so soon after scoring," Langkow said.
Just 59 seconds later, Detroit went ahead when Pavel Datsyuk forced a turnover in the neutral zone, came over the blue line and fed Holmstrom for a slap shot from just inside the right circle that also caught the far corner past Kiprusoff.
Calgary managed only eight shots in the third period as the Wings slowed the pace of the game to a crawl.
"We didn't play consistently through 60 minutes," Langkow said. "We didn't get enough shots and enough traffic."
-- John Kreiser, NHL.com