DETROIT -- The Red Wings already knew the situation they were in, sellers at the trade deadline.
But finding out six minutes before warmups that both Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green weren't going to play for "asset management" reasons was jarring to say the least.
The Calgary Flames scored the first two goals of the game but the Wings kept fighting until the end, eventually succumbing, 4-2.
Dylan Larkin scored both goals for the Wings.
Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Andrew Mangiapane (two, one empty net) lit the lamp for the Flames.
Detroit goaltender Jonathan Bernier (13-18-2) made 27 saves.
Calgary goalie David Rittich (22-15-5) also had 27 saves.
Up next for the Wings is a Tuesday night matchup against the New Jersey Devils at Little Caesars Arena.
The Flames will continue their five-game road trip Tuesday in Boston against the Bruins.
1. Dylan Larkin: On Friday, Larkin tried to take the lion's share of the blame for the loss to the New York Islanders as he was called for a late penalty right after the Red Wings had scored to pull within one. But Larkin was hardly solely responsible. On Sunday night, when the Wings were down 2-0, Brendan Perlini sprung Larkin on a breakaway and Larkin finished at 15:48 of the first. It was Larkin's 16th goal of the season, second on the team only to Tyler Bertuzzi, who has 18. Patrik Nemeth picked up the second assist for his first point in 17 games. He had an assist on Jan. 14 at the Islanders. Then with Bernier pulled for the extra attacker, Larkin flipped the puck from the blue line and it beat Rittich at the 18-minute mark. Anthony Mantha and Madison Bowey assisted. It was Larkin's ninth career multi-goal game and his second of the month. He also had two goals Feb. 6 in Buffalo. Larkin extended his point streak to three games and he has five points (2-3-5) in that span. Mantha's assist also extended his point streak to three games, with four points (1-3-4) in that span. Mantha has seven points (1-6-7) in the seven games since his return from injury. Bowey's assist gave him 13 for the season, a new career best. Larkin finished with 22 shifts for 21:57, had three shots, four giveaways, one takeaway, was 7-for-20 in face-offs and was minus-1.
Quotable: "That's just the way it goes. You gotta throw pucks . . . that was the main focus of yesterday's practice, throwing pucks on net, generating more shots, generating more offense. I think we did that today. We can still be better. I don't know what the total shots were but we need to find ways to funnel more pucks to the net and get pucks through. You saw it. I got lucky. Maybe Bert tipped it. He was right in front with a great screen and that's how that puck goes in." - Larkin
Quotable II: "I thought we battled hard. It's tough when you go down 3-1. I thought we had a lot of resolve. Larks played well and kind of led the way there but we needed some more of that." - Luke Glendening
Quotable III: "We've got some guys that 100-percent want to be part of the solution and I had a reporter say to me in New York, this goes back a few weeks with the Rangers, we played a bad game but we dug in and stayed with it. I said to him, Larks is big piece of that. We got guys that keep digging and we talk all the time of things we have to do if want to win here long-term, not short-term, we want to win long-term and there's certain things we have to continue to get better at and that's the No. 1 thing just as each individual getting better." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Andreas Athanasiou/Mike Green: It is that time of year, the day before Monday's 3 p.m. trade deadline. For a team like the Red Wings, it is a difficult time of year as the players know they could lose a teammate and friend as general manager Steve Yzerman works to improve the team. Both Athanasiou and Green have been asked about being possible trade targets for contending teams. Both have said that they try not to think about things over which they have no control, so they go about their business the best they can. Before Sunday night's game, however, they found out right before warmups that they were both healthy scratches for "asset management" reasons. While that does not mean that they are certain to be dealt, it definitely means that teams have inquired.
Quotable: "It's hard. Probably the hardest thing I've gone through right before a game. News like that, it's two guys that are a huge part of this team. Huge players for us, great guys in this room that are beloved. To hear that, I was very proud of our guys, the level of professionalism we showed to go out. It was a little slow start but Bernie stuck in there, played great, made big saves for us, allowed us to get it to a one-goal game. I thought our game got a little better after that. We just didn't come up with enough in the end. Definitely those are two guys that we could've used there late in the game." - Larkin
Quotable II: "Right before the game. They were starting to get dressed, or were close to, and they found out. Even if you've been part of that for many years. It's always a weird feeling to hear that a guy won't play and he might get traded, or whatever happens. It's never fun." - Bernier
Quotable III: "For sure it's hard. The unfortunate thing is we've put ourselves in this situation. We have to deal with the consequences. It's hard. You grow up with guys, you're around them for a lot of years. It's never easy but like I said, we've unfortunately put ourselves in this situation. We have to pay the price." - Glendening
Quotable IV: "The message is control what you can control. They can't do anything about anything that might happen, emphasize might. All they can do is control what they can control. Our guys understand the business of this. At the end of the day, we've put ourselves in this spot so we shouldn't feel one ounce sorry for ourselves. We just gotta go out and continue what we've been trying to do on a daily basis here and that's get better. Again, I didn't think we executed in the first but I thought we got better as the game went along." - Blashill
3. Jonathan Bernier: It would not be surprising if a team needing goaltending help called Yzerman about Bernier. Since Dec. 12, Bernier has been one of the best goaltenders in the league. Coming into Sunday night, he was tied for seventh with Tampa Bay's Andrei Vasilevskiy with a 2.38 goals-against average and was sixth in save percentage at .927 since mid-December. Gaudreau's shot from the left circle at 6:46 of the first beat Bernier at the far side. At 8:03 of the first, Bernier made the first save but Monahan was able to put the rebound home. Late in the second, Noah Hanifin's shot from the left point bounced off Mangiapane and into the net. But Bernier had many quality saves, including on Matthew Tkachuk, once from the right circle at 12:08 of the first and on a wraparound try at 19:29 of the first.
Quotable: "Obviously we knew it was a big game for them. They got two lucky bounces in their favor. I thought our compete level was good tonight. Anything could've happened there at the end. We didn't give up. It was an interesting game until the end." - Bernier
Quotable II: "I think it's shown through his play, absolutely. I think if you watch every time it doesn't go our way, we're skating off the ice, he's fist bumping guys. We don't want to get use to that feeling but to see his attitude every day, see how he carries himself, see his preparation before every game and practice, you can tell he's in it and he wants to be here. There's a lot of guys in this room like that. That's one thing. This season hasn't gone or way by any means but we've stuck together, we've come to the rink every day with a good attitude and listened to the coaches and worked. It hasn't shown in results but it's shown up in our locker room and we play for each other." - Larkin
Quotable III: "It was a tough goal. And it was going wide, hits the guy and goes in. I thought we played much better hockey certainly as the second went along. I still thought we came out and had some push in the third. Like a lot of teams we're going to face here, they're scrapping and clawing for every point because of the race they're in. As I said to the guys before the game, we're going to get their best and we've gotta be prepared for that. I thought as the game went along, we kept pushing. Now it's another goal that you gotta dig yourself out of and that's hard. At 2-1, the game's tied if we score the empty-net goal. At 3-1, it's harder." - Blashill