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The Calgary Flames should be happy to be finishing a very demanding stretch of games, even if they're finishing it at one of the arenas where they struggle most.
The Flames hope to beat the Red Wings in Detroit for the first time in almost two years on Tuesday night when they complete a three-game road trip with a game at Joe Louis Arena.
This contest ends a stretch of seven games - five on the road - in an 11-day span for Calgary (10-11-3), which has split the first six of those games.
The Flames have lost two meetings to the Red Wings already this season. They have lost their last three games at Detroit, and eight of their last 10 visits there.
Playing its third game in four days, Calgary looked fatigued Sunday in a 3-0 loss at St. Louis. Despite a 24-18 advantage in shots, the Flames seriously threatened Manny Legace's shutout bid only once.
Captain Jarome Iginla took a shot midway though the third period that Legace stopped between his pads. The referees reviewed the play to make certain Legace didn't pull the puck over the goal line as he moved back to the net.
"It had to have been real close," Iginla said. "(It) would have been nice if it had went in with about 10 minutes left but it didn't. We kept trying to throw some more things there and couldn't get anything by (Legace) tonight."
Sunday marked the first NHL start for rookie goaltender Curtis McElhinney, who allowed two goals on 17 shots. McElhinney, though, doesn't figure to see much playing time behind Flames starter Miikka Kiprusoff.
Kiprusoff is 5-7-1 with one tie and a 2.85 goals-against average in 15 career appearances against Detroit.
Iginla - among the league leaders with 30 points - was held scoreless on Sunday for just the fifth time in 24 games this season. He has struggled lately against the Red Wings, producing no goals and four assists in his last 11 games against them.
Detroit (15-6-2) sits atop the Central Division with a Western Conference-leading 32 points. The Red Wings have stumbled of late, though, going 2-4-1 following a franchise record-tying nine-game win streak.
Tomas Holmstrom and Pavel Datsyuk scored goals a team-record five seconds apart in the second period Saturday at Columbus. Chris Osgood stopped 26 shots, but Detroit went on to lose 3-2 in a shootout.
"We had every chance to win," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "So many opportunities, but the bottom line is, without Ozzy, we wouldn't have even got the third period. It would have been over."
While still considered the backup goalie to Dominik Hasek, Osgood has earned the majority of the playing time lately. Osgood, who turned 35 on Monday, is 10-1-1 with a 1.66 GAA this season while Hasek is 0-3-0 with a 4.26 GAA in his last three starts.
Osgood is 3-0-0 with a 1.30 GAA in his last three starts against Calgary.
Left wing Henrik Zetterberg - fourth in the NHL with 32 points - has five goals and two assists in his last three games against Calgary. Linemate Pavel Datsyuk has two goals and four assists in his last four contests versus the Flames.
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