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When they faced the Calgary Flames earlier this month, the Detroit Red Wings were playing their worst defense of the season.
The Red Wings have tightened their defense up during a recent win streak and with help from their league-best offense, remain in contention for the Western Conference lead.
Detroit will next look to take advantage of the Flames' continuing defensive struggles as it searches for a fifth straight victory and a season-high sixth consecutive road win Monday night in Calgary.
After yielding eight goals twice in their previous five games, the Red Wings blew a three-goal lead March 12 at home by allowing the Flames to score four straight times. They earned a point on Daniel Cleary's goal with 42 seconds left in regulation, but lost 6-5 in a shootout to Calgary.
Detroit (48-15-9) has turned to goaltender Chris Osgood over Ty Conklin in the four games since, and Osgood has responded. After giving up seven goals in a March 7 loss to Columbus, the veteran has allowed seven in four straight wins.
Those victories have allowed Detroit to keep pace with San Jose in the West in its push for the conference's best record for a sixth straight season and have the Red Wings closing in on their eighth consecutive Central Division title.
They will likely look to Osgood again Monday as he is 7-3-0 with a 1.60 goals-against average in his last 10 starts against the Flames, who he hasn't faced this season.
If Detroit's offense continues to produce, he could get another victory.
The Red Wings, who have an NHL-best 264 goals, have scored 18 times since the loss to the Flames, including Friday night's 6-3 victory in Atlanta.
Detroit kicked off its three-game road trip with its trademark balanced scoring as six different players found the net with Johan Franzen scoring his 30th and Marian Hossa adding his team-leading 36th. Nine different players have scored in the team's two victories this season over Calgary.
"We played a solid game," said Franzen, who scored in his third consecutive game. "Things went our way."
The Red Wings could have four 30-goal scorers for the first time since 2001-02 as Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk each have 29. Both are on seven-game point streaks with Datsyuk, who has a team-leading 88 points, recording four goals and seven assists, and Zetterberg getting four goals and six assists, including a career-high four on Friday.
In losing five of their last seven, the Flames (41-24-6) have seen their Northwest Division lead over Vancouver cut to three points. Calgary blew a one-goal lead in Friday night's 3-2 loss to visiting St. Louis, allowing the Blues to score twice in the third period.
"They just came out and won the third period and took it away from us," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "On our part, we know that's unacceptable. ... We let one slip away."
Starting all but five games this season, Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff could be showing signs of fatigue as he has a 3.95 GAA in nine March starts. He is 2-3-0 with a 3.67 GAA in his last six against Detroit.
Since he was acquired from Phoenix on March 4, center Olli Jokinen has eight goals and four assists in eight games for the Flames.
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