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Trending: Wings can't overcome Flames' firepower in 5-1 loss

Despite line shakeups, Detroit only manages one goal

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

CALGARY -- Right now the Red Wings are not scoring and they're having trouble preventing their opponents from scoring.

The Calgary Flames (4-3-1) carried the play Thursday night at Scotiabank Saddledome, defeating the Wings, 5-1.

It is the third straight loss for the Wings (3-4-0) and third straight game in which they have allowed five goals.

Darren Helm scored the lone goal for the Wings.

Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm (power play), Sam Bennett , Derek Ryan and Mark Giordano (power play) lit the lamp for the Flames.

Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard (1-3-0) made 31 saves.

Calgary goalie David Rittich (4-2-1), making his first career start against Detroit, had 27 saves.

Up next for the Wings is a Friday night date in Edmonton with the red hot Oilers to complete the back-to-back set.

The Flames head to California to start a back-to-back Saturday in Los Angeles against the Kings and Sunday in Anaheim against the Ducks.

1. Line changes: With the Wings holding an optional morning skate because of the back-to-back games, only six forwards skated. That meant no telling line rushes until warmups right before the game. Wings coach Jeff Blashill had warned that he might have to split up the top line of Tyler Bertuzzi-Dylan Larkin-Anthony Mantha if other lines did not pick up the pace. Apparently, Blashill had seen enough that he decided to make the change now. Helm ended up on the top line with Larkin and Mantha; Bertuzzi went to a line with Frans Nielsen and Andreas Athanasiou; Justin Abdelkader moved up to play with Valtteri Filppula and Taro Hirose; and in the absence of Adam Erne, Christoffer Ehn returned to the lineup and played with Jacob de la Rose and Luke Glendening.

Quotable: "I think he's just trying to spice something up offensively and trying new combinations everywhere. We need to stay with it and figure something out for tomorrow." - Mantha

Quotable II: "We gotta make sure we're getting pucks on net and we're being dirty, trying to get those dirty goals. Right now, they're coming tough. We gotta continue to be hard in those areas and win those net-front battles and those stick battles. That's how some of their goals went in. We just gotta continue to throw pucks there and just continue to work for our breaks." - Abdelkader

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: "We need figure something out quick because tomorrow night is going to come around and we know McDavid and Draisaitl are going to be flying."Mantha, Abdelkader, Howard, and Coach Blashill comment following tonight's game against the Flames. | @CocaCola #DETvsCGY

Quotable III: "I tried to get a different look. Trying to get more depth of scoring. We need more depth of scoring throughout our lineup. Trying to get Double-A going a bit here, put Bert with him, but Bert's got to pick his game up. He's got to be better than he has been." - Blashill

2. Darren Helm: Helm's speed can always be a factor and he put it to good use in the second period. Defenseman Dennis Cholowski sent Mantha on a breakaway and Rittich appeared to make the save but the puck was tantalizingly loose on the goal line. Helm swooped in and pushed it over the line and into the net. Helm now has three goals, tied with Bertuzzi for second on the team in that category. Mantha leads with six. But that turned not to be the biggest play involving Helm. At 5:12 of the third, right after the Flames had taken a 4-1 lead, Lindholm elbowed Helm, who fell to the ice, Helm got up and immediately slashed Lindholm on the back of the legs. Lindholm fell to the ice and had to be helped to the dressing room. After a long review, officials gave Lindholm a minor for interference and Helm a major for slashing plus a game misconduct. Hirose served the major for Helm while Austin Czarnik served Lindholm's minor.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Helmer net his 3rd. #LGRW @DTE_Energy | #DETvsCGY

Quotable: "Their guy comes with an elbow that should have probably been called right away. Then Darren reacts to that as most guys would, you get an elbow to the face for no reason you're going to react. We got to be more disciplined in those situations, but he slashed him. I didn't think the slash was that super-hard, but it sure looked hard the way he went down." - Blashill

3. Penalty kill: It was a good sign before the game that defenseman Danny DeKeyser was warming up as if he planned to play. DeKeyser, a late scratch in Vancouver Tuesday because of a mid-body injury, had taken warmups that day but ended up not playing. DeKeyser warmed up and took rushes with partner Filip Hronek, which meant he was able to return. That was good news for a beleaguered penalty kill, which had given up three goals on five opportunities to the Canucks. However, the Flames have quite a few talented offensive players as well and they managed to score on two of their five chances. The Wings have allowed seven goals on 15 chances, all of them on the road.

Quotable: "We just got to tighten up, outwork the other team's power play and block shots and clear rebounds." - Howard

Quotable II: "We still gotta clean up our specialty teams and our penalty kill. Obviously, they got a good power play but the penalty kill has to make sure that we're keeping the puck out of the net and making it hard on the power play. They got a break on their one but we gotta continue to work as a group. I thought at times for us it's really hard for us getting out of our zone. Sometimes it looked easy. We gotta make sure we're playing as a unit of five, working together on the ice. Playing our best, at our best, we're taking away time and space and we're on top of teams. Right now it feels like we're a little in between, a little back, a bit slow. We gotta continue to work on making sure we work as a unit of five. Just keep it simple. It's that road hockey mentality. Don't do turnovers, get pucks in. When we're in the O-zone, we can be a great team. We just didn't spend enough time down there." - Abdelkader

Quotable III: "I actually think the PK has shown moments of being good. Where the power play has started to go the wrong way, the PK has shown moments. I thought we had some good kills but the puck's going in. We got to make sure we stay confident on it, we got to stick to executing our game plan and dig in as a group. As a g group we got to dig in more." - Blashill

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