The Calgary Flames played a good game tonight. When you combine that with a poor showing from the Detroit Red Wings, it makes for an interesting match, and the Flames almost pulled it off. Unfortunatetly for the Flames, they gave up a 4-2 lead and let the Red Wings back into a game that they didn’t deserve to win.
The Flames jumped out to a 1-0 lead just under 9 minutes into the game when Curtis Glencross scored his first goal since November. The lead didn’t last long, as Darren Helm tied the game about 7 minutes later. In the waning moments of the first period, the Flames took the lead back with Jarome Iginla’s 17th goal of the season.
Detroit, who is known to not sit back when trailing, jumped right back into the game in the 2nd period with a goal from Brian Rafalski only 41 seconds after the puck dropped. Curtis Glencross gave Flames fans a little hope with his 2nd goal of the game 28 seconds later to regain the 1-goal lead for Calgary. Anton Babchuck added a powerplay goal for the Flames 10 minutes later and that 2-goal lead stuck until late in the second period.
After killing-off a 5-on-3 powerplay with some amazing offensive-defense the Flames seemed to forget that they still had to kill off the rest of the 5-on-4 powerplay. After rushing the puck into Detroit’s end numerous times while killing the penalty, Calgary gave up a relatively easy shot to Patrick Eaves who managed to beat Miikka Kiprusoff and bring the Red Wings within one goal. It was the kind of goal that every team hates, coming under 20 seconds from the end of the period.
Calgary managed to “weather the storm” at the start of the 3rd period, and had a few chances of their own to get an insurance goal. But they couldn’t beat Jimmy Howard, and had to kill off 3 different penalties in the period. It seems fitting that the one powerplay that the Red Wings scored on was the most controversial penalty of the game. Tom Kostopolous laid a huge hit on Brad Stuart while the puck was bouncing around the net. After Stuart took a swing at the puck, Kostopolous hit him hard and high, and Stuart ended up on the ice, clearly in pain and spitting up blood. It was later discovered that Stuart suffered a broken jaw on the hit. Check out the video of the hit below.
On the ensuing powerplay, Brian Rafalski scored his 2nd goal of the game to tie it up at 4-4. Both teams had chances to take the lead before the end of the game but the proved to be better than the shooters.
In overtime, Jarome Iginla had a golden opportunity to end the game but the pass wasn’t quite good enough. He took a fraction of a second to get the puck into a shooting position and that was enough for Howard to come across the net and stop his shot. Since overtime didn’t determine a winner, a shootout was needed. Jimmy Howard stopped all 3 Flames players, and Todd Bertuzzi was sneaky enough to get the puck past Mikka Kiprusoff for the win.
After their annual super skills competition on Sunday, the Flames head out on a 4-game road trip where they will face Carolina, Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal. We might actually get a few points here!