Deep breaths everybody, we won.
It was an exciting yet tough game, with the Wings ending up as the victorious side. I have to say, the Flames gave us a legitimate run for our money. But, at the same time, it never felt as if we were not going to win.
The Wings held on, and managed to grab two more points on the road. Here is how it all happened:
The game began in the worst possible way with the Flames taking the lead after less than three minutes of play. Mason Raymond scored his first point in 15 games when he scored a wraparound goal off of a rebound from Petr Mrazek. The Flames kept up the pressure after the goal, and nearly scored on multiple occasions during a powerplay five minutes into the game.
A beautiful solo effort from Riley Sheahan tied the game up midway through the period. He stole the puck in the neutral zone, with some help from Darren Helm, and used his skill to beat Karri Ramo for the goal.
Outside of the first few minutes, the Wings seemed to outplay the Flames during the period. We did not dominate them by any means, and there was certainly ground to be gained. But, we did come close to taking the lead, including a Datsyuk shot which hit the post.
The second period began much like the first period had. Both teams had their chances, but the Flames seemed to have the edge. Sean Monahan nearly scored five minutes later on a breakaway, but Mrazek managed to stop his shot.
Midway through the period, Drew Miller broke through for a breakaway and Karri Ramo came out to play the puck. Ramo collided with Raphael Diaz, and in the process injured himself. Jonas Hiller came on to replace him.
The Wings would finally break the deadlock as the period was nearing its end. In his 800th career game, Henrik Zetterberg scored to give the Wings the lead. Considering that the Flames maintained quite a bit of pressure throughout the period it was incredibly relieving to see the Wings take the lead.
The Wings finally got their first powerplay of the game shortly after the period began. It did not take long for the Wings to extend their lead after Justin Abdelkader scored his 11th goal of the season. He nearly did not score though. His first attempt to score on the open net hit the post and rebounded back to him. Had he not scored there, that shot would haunt him for the rest of his life.
The Wings were given another PP a few minutes later. The Flames would have two breakaways. On the first, Mrazek made the save. On the second, Mikael Backlund scored in his first game back after missing 29 games with an injury. Lovely...
With 1:20 left the Flames thought that they had scored. But, Petr Mrazek's mask had fallen off and the referees had already blown the whistle before the goal was scored. Whew... Seconds later, the Flames had a second goal disallowed. Double whew!!!
As I previously mentioned, this was not an easy victory for the Wings. The Flames are clearly a much better team than they were last season, and their play today showed that. We won in an undesirable yet comfortable manner. Ideally, I would have preferred for the Wings to have buried the Flames chances of winning earlier on in the game. And, giving up a shorthanded goal is never a good thing.
But, all in all, the Wings played a solid game against a competent opponent and came away with two points from it. The Wings managed to grab four out of six points on their western Canada road trip, which is pretty good if you ask me.
Petr Mrazek was in net today, giving Howard a rest. I thought he played an overall good game, although his placement on the first Flames goal can maybe be tweaked.
In other news, Jiri Hudler did not play today for the Flames as his wife is awaiting their first child. Oh, and the Pistons won. Again. Good job Detroit!
The Wings continue their road trip when they take on the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Let's Go Red Wings!