Three Questions: Wings-Flames
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 73rd game
The Wings fell behind early, and they were never able to overcome the early deficit Monday night. Detroit led in a statistic they don’t normally do so with – penalties. The Wings took four penalties in the first two periods, which doesn’t sound like many. But the Flames only took one penalty, and they took it early. The Wings were on a power play 1:07 into the game, and they didn’t see another opportunity for rest of the game. This meant that the Flames had plenty of opportunities to test goaltender Chris Osgood. They also held the game’s best power play unit at bay, which let Calgary goaltender Miika Kiprusoff find his groove between the pipes. The Wings made a great attempt at a comeback, charging back from a 3-0 deficit, but without any power-play chances, it was too much to overcome.
What was the goal of the night?
With the Wings attempting to stage a miraculous comeback, forward Jiri Hudler turned in an impressive individual effort on Detroit’s third goal. Taking a great long pass from defenseman Brian Rafalski, Hudler charged toward the Calgary zone. However, he was about to be cut off by all-star defenseman Dion Phaneuf as he approached Kiprusoff. Hudler cut towards the center of the ice, and flipped the puck over Phaneuf’s stick as he spun to stop the Detroit winger. Hudler finished off the play by firing a wrist shot through Kiprusoff’s legs, giving him his 22nd goal of the season.
Who else scored for the Wings?
Forward Pavel Datsyuk reached a personal milestone Monday night, when he fired in the Wings’ first goal. A line combination of Datsyuk, Marian Hossa and Johan Franzen applied pressure in the Calgary zone near the end of the second period, and it paid off for Detroit. Franzen ended up with the puck in the slot, and he fired a shot towards Kiprusoff. The Flames’ goaltender made the initial stop, but Datsyuk grabbed the rebound. Standing just above the goal line, Datsyuk blasted the puck into the empty goal, giving him his 30th goal of the season. The tally put him within one goal of his personal best; Datsyuk scored 31 goals last season.
Franzen recorded the Wings’ other goal, picking up his 31st of the season in the third period. The Wings’ rugged forward carried the puck into the Calgary zone, and with a quick toe drag, cut to the center of the ice and fired a wrist shot through defenseman Jordan Leopold’s legs. The shot surprised Kiprusoff, but it didn’t matter anyways; Franzen put the puck right off the right post and into the back of the net.