Detroit 5, Calgary 3
-- A day after Chris Osgood
celebrated his 35th birthday, the Red Wings gave him a 5-3 victory, and improved to 7-0 against the Northwest Division this season.
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"It was nice to get a good start, now that I'm over the hill, in hockey terms," joked Osgood. "I feel good. I just have to keep working in practice, stay sharp, do the things I have to do to stay ready, and when I do that I feel confident, and I just go out there and play."
However, the win was a costly one for Detroit, who saw players go down to injury, but it also improved the Red Wings to a league-best 34 point with a 16-6-2 record.
The Flames took the first lead of the game as continued pressure lead to a Robyn Regehr goal from the point at 11:01 of the first period.
made an amazing move past Eriksson off of a Tomas Holmstrom
pass to tie the game, 1-1, at 15:49 of first.
"He was the best guy on the ice tonight," said coach Mike Babcock about Datsyuk's great play of late. "I though he was the other night too in Columbus. That's a good sign and when he's going like that and feeling it like that, things happen for him, and that's good for our team."
The goal was Datsyuk's sixth this season. Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg
got the assists on the goal, and Holmstrom extended his point streak to six games.
It then took only 23-seconds for the Wings to take a lead that they never relinguished. Kris Draper
put in a rebound from Mikka Kiprusoff to put the Wings ahead, 2-1.
The two goals are only the second fastest goals of the last week for Detroit, who on Saturday netted two in five seconds in Columbus.
Late in the first period, the Wings suffered the first of two key injuries. Draper got tangled up along the boards and went to the locker room with a sprained left knee. He did not return.
, who has spent his entire career with Detroit, appeared in his 1,200th regular-season game on Tuesday. He is the 12th player in league history to play in at least 1,200 games for one team and the fourth defenseman to do so, joining Ray Bourque (1,518 games), Ken Daneyko (1,283) and Larry Robinson (1,202).
It was a Lidstrom shot on a five-on-three advantage in the second that broke a strap on Kiprusoff's mask, causing a short delay. But even with a fixed mask, he couldn't stop the Wings from building a 3-1 lead when Holmstrom scored his ninth power play goal of the season, which leads the NHL.
On the goal, Lidstrom got his 21st point of the season, and Datsyuk attained his second point of the night as Detroit motored to a two goal lead.
Three goals would spell the end of the night for Kiprusoff, who stopped 12 shots for Calgary. He was replaced by Curtis McElhinney less than five minutes into the second period.
Calgary returned the favor scoring a five-on-three goal as Dion Phaneuf shot one past the glove of goalie Chris Osgood
that sliced the Flames' deficit to 3-2.
Late in the second, Osgood made a key save on Stephane Yelle on a shorthanded opportunity for the Flames. Detroit leads the league in shorthanded goals against with six though 23 games.
"He's been playing well ever since he got a chance to start for us, it's key, it gives the whole team confidence," Lidstrom said of Osgodd's play in net. "You can tell that he's relaxed in the goal and playing with lots of confidence too."
In the second, Niklas Kronwall
also went to the locker room with an injury.
In yet another amazing play by Datsyuk, he scored he second of the night weaving through three Calgary defensemen, grabbing a lose puck, and lifting it over the shoulder of McElhinney. Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski
picked up the assists, Lidstrom's second of the game, and Detroit led 4-2.
"I tried to make a move," Datsyuk said. "I followed my line, went to the net, and the puck bounced to me again."
Calgary didn't take long to respond when Detroit turnover lead to a two-on-one breakaway for Calgary, and a feed from Jerome Iginla to Alex Tanguay, once again bringing Calgary only a goal away from the Red Wings. It was Iginla's third assist on the night.
Later in the third, the Wings gained a three on two breakaway, and an incredible pass from Jiri Hudler to the trailer Valtteri Filppula
gave Detroit it's two goal cushion back. Filppula earned his fourth goal of the season, lifting the puck over the sprawled out McElhinney.
A big hit by Phaneuf on Hudler led to a scrap between Andreas Lilja and Phaneuf late in the game, and a takedown by Lilja in the short confrontation.
The Red Wings will next take on Vincent Lecavalier, the league's leading scorer, and the Tampa Bay Lightning Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena.
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