Dominik Hasek’s attempt to draw a penalty backfired in a big way.
The winner came with 2:26 left in the second period when Calgary was on its fifth consecutive power play.
Dion Phaneuf fired a slap shot high and wide, and Jarome Iginla nudged Hasek while battling for position in front of the Red Wings net. Hasek emphatically threw his head and body backward to embellish the contact.
With Hasek on his back inside the net, Alex Tanguay got the rebound off the end glass and quickly zipped a pass across the slot to an open Huselius, who sent in a high shot that the 42-year-old goalie could only wave at.
“Obviously, we had a lot of pressure on them,” Huselius said. “Tangs made a great play and I saw Hasek was scrambling in front so I just tried to hit the net.”
Hasek said he didn’t know what happened.
“Somebody bumped me in the head, I don’t know it if was my teammate or their player, and I fell down on my back,” he said. “I was a little bit confused, I didn’t know what was going on. Before I got up, they scored that goal.”
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock offered a different version, and said he talked to Hasek during the second intermission.
“It wasn’t interference at all. Our goalie tried to draw the penalty and he dove and they shot it in the net,” Babcock said. “The bottom line is embellishment is something that happens in our games, probably too much, and when you try and draw a penalty and they shoot it in our net, it’s a tough one.”
Calgary snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Red Wings, who failed to move past Nashville into first place in the Central Division and past Buffalo atop the NHL standings.
“We still have a few games left here but we missed a chance and we’re starting to run out of games,” Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “We want to play well down the stretch and play disciplined down the stretch and that’s not something we’ve been doing the past couple games.”
The Flames are trying to hold off hard-charging Colorado at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff race. Their nine-point lead was trimmed to four in a week, but the victory pushed it back up to six.
Daymond Langkow also scored for Calgary, an NHL-best 29-7-2 at home.
“It was a big game and we came through,” said Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, who made 30 saves. “We know we’re able to play well and today was a really strong game from us.”
Pavel Datsyuk scored the lone goal for Detroit, which dropped both games on its Western trip that started in Vancouver.
Detroit trailed 1-0 entering the second period but pulled even at 1:27 on Datsyuk’s individual effort.
Carrying the puck down the wing, Datsyuk neatly sidestepped Craig Conroy, and whipped a shot past Kiprusoff high on the glove side. His 23rd goal extended his point streak to 11 games (four goals, 13 assists).
Calgary scored the lone goal of the first period, taking advantage of an opening-minute power play.
Phaneuf’s wrist shot from the circle was stopped by Hasek, but the rebound went to Langkow on his backhand. He banked a shot off both goal posts and in for his 30th goal, the third Flames player to hit the mark – joining Iginla (34) and Huselius (31). Buffalo is the only other team with three 30-goal scorers.
CGY: Langkow (30) A: Phanuef, Huselius
DET: Datsyuk (23) A: Filppula, Lidstrom
CGY: Huselius (31) A: Tanguay, Phaneuf