Wings can end it; McLennan suspended
CALGARY, Alberta -- The home team has won each game in the Western Conference quarterfinal series between the Red Wings and Flames, who need that trend to continue if they want to force a deciding seventh game.
The Wings, meanwhile, will advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since 2004 with a win over the Flames in Game 6 on Sunday night at Pengrowth Saddledome.
Detroit took an emphatic step toward progressing with a 5-1 win on Saturday to take a 3-2 series lead. Dan Cleary scored on a penalty shot, Henrik Zetterberg added the first of his two power-play goals and Chris Chelios posted a shorthanded tally in a 7:22 span of the second period to stake the Wings to a 3-0 lead.
Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk added power-play goals in the third around a shorthanded marker from the Flames' Andrei Zyuzin. But the game, and possibly the series, took an ugly turn with 2:59 left when Calgary backup goaltender Jamie McLennan slashed the midsection of Detroit's Johan Franzen.
"It doesn't belong in hockey," said Franzen, who said the slash shocked him more than it hurt.
McLennan received a slashing minor, a match penalty and a game misconduct and almost assuredly a suspension from the NHL.
The goaltender refused to speak to the media after the game, but Zetterberg said, "I think the league will take a look at a few things that happened."
On Sunday, the NHL handed down a five-game suspension to McLennan, Calgary coach Jim Playfair has been fined $25,000 and the Flames' organization has been fined $100,000 for a variety of actions late in Game 5.
"In our pre-playoff conference calls with the coaches and general managers of the respective organizations, we addressed a number of topics ? and one of them was actions late in the game when the score was out of hand," said Colin Campbell, NHL senior executive vice president and director of hockey operations. "The coach and the organization must be held accountable for the players' actions."
McLennan's suspension begins Sunday with Game 6.
In February, the league handed down a three-game suspension to Ottawa goaltender Ray Emery for slashing Montreal's Maxim Lapierre in the face. Late in the regular-season, Islanders forward Chris Simon received a 25-game ban for a two-handed stick attack on the Rangers' Ryan Hollweg.
The Flames will likely recall either Curtis McElhinney or Brent Krahn from Omaha of the AHL to backup Miikka Kiprusoff, who has played better at home so far in the postseason, stopping 61 of 65 shots for a 2.00 GAA. He's 0-3 with a 4.00 GAA on the road.
Over the last three years, Kiprusoff is 2-3 with a 1.73 goals-against average in Game 6s. Both wins came at home, including a 38-save shutout of the Wings en route to a 1-0 overtime win on May 3, 2004.
Calgary has managed only nine goals in this series, but won Games 3 and 4 by identical 3-2 scores. To force a Game 7, the Flames will need more production from Kristian Huselius, who enjoyed a breakout season with career highs of 34 goals and 43 assists, but has managed only two assists.
Zetterberg also had an assist Saturday for his first three-point game in the postseason. Datsyuk's goal was his third to lead the team.
If necessary, Game 7 is scheduled for Tuesday night in Detroit, where the Wings have outscored the Flames, 12-3, in their three wins.