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Burning Hot Wings Over Flames

Wings are in Calgary for the rematch of last week’s 2-1 victory over the Flames that started our little winning streak. The Flames get Rasmus Andersson back after he was hit by a car in Detroit. Hellberg gets a rare start.

Also Walman is back and Oesterle is in (Hägg and Lindström sit). No Vrana yet.

Fun fact: The Calgary Flames are one of TWO NHL teams whose names are references to the American Civil War.  Calgary is a great place for one of those.

First Period

Dylan Larkin gets crosschecked to the side of the head on his first shift.  Jonathan Huberdeau got away with the Jamie Benn move. Calgary  puts the pressure on early, just missing a few quality chances in the first four minutes.

Same narrative for the next four too. Wings get one good looking rush that doesn’t end with a shot attempt.

Eight minutes left in the period and the first actual chance is Zadina splitting the defense and just missing a chance to slide the puck under Dan Vladar’s pad.

Calgary takes a slashing penalty at 15:07. Tyler Toffoli takes the call. It’s a meh call.  I think the refs are bored.

Elias Lindholm scores shorthanded. 1-0 Calgary. Seider cycles back to Hellberg. Hellberg is uncertain on what to do with the puck. Calgary takes over and the Wings’ defenders screw up. Ugly play.

That Sportsnet power play clock is drunk.

Aside from a Kubalik slapper from high in the zone, the Wings don’t do anything useful with the rest of the advantage.

All is not lost. just over a minute later, Tyler Bertuzzi wins a board battle and feeds to Dominik Kubalik in the circle for a quick snapper through traffic and into the net off Vladar. 1-1 Tie.

That’s the period.

The Score: 1-1
The Shots: 8-6 Flames
Observations: Oskar Sundqvist made the best centering pass of the entire period.  He did it in Detroit’s zone.  Wings played poke-and-hope a bunch and got lucky to come out with a tie.

Second Period

Wings get another PP chance early in the second ad Michael Stone cross-checks David Perron in front of the Calgary net.

Wings make it 2-1 quick as the Wings pass quickly around and Larkin feeds Fabbri from the low left side to the right dot and Robby rips it past Vladar.

The secondary assist by Perron is his 700th career point.

From here the Wings actually drive play and even take the lead in shots on goal while the Flames try to blast away.  That all lasts as long as it took me to type it before Calgary ties it 2-2.  Walman and Seider both get caught. Dillon Dube gets a step on Dylan Larkin coming out of the zone and snaps it over Hellberg’s stick from inside the dot.

Kadri barely misses making it 3-2 on the next shift. Thanks to this miss, Jonathan Huberdeau hooks Joe Veleno going for the rebound and Detroit gets another PP. Flames kill this one and nearly score another shorthanded goal.

Calgary finally gets their first power play of the game with 7:11 to go as Filip Zadina gets his stick caught in the skates of Nazem Kadri. Tripping is the call.  Calgary has trouble getting set up and doesn’t create a dangerous chance against Detroit’s PK.

Immediately on the follow-on shift, Larkin and Bertuzzi win battles behind the Calgary net. Bert gets it out front, Larkin pops it across a frozen Vladar and Kubalik pops it into the empty net. 3-2 Detroit.

He did it while being high-sticked.

You’d think the refs would start the chintzy even-up parade, but the Flames insist on continuing to cheat in unsubtle ways. The latest penalty call is on Lindholm for tripping Zadina with a real obvious one. 1:33 to go in the 2nd.

16 seconds later, the Wings finish on a CLINIC of passing with another half-board overload passing play that finds the lone man on the far side of the ice to make a play. This time instead of snapping it into the net, Fabbri throws it to the net front for Tyler Bertuzzi to tip into the net.

4-2 Wings.

Michael Rasmussen takes a silly interference penalty with 33 seconds to go, taking down Lindholm behind the net.

The Score: 4-2 Detroit
The Shots: 20-20 (13-12 Detroit)
Observations: The Wings slowly too control over this period in a way that we haven’t really seen them do too much.

Third Period

Calgary’s PP uses the fresh ice to move the puck well, but they do that double-clutch thing with the puck that drives me nuts when it’s the team I like doing it and Hellberg has time to make every save he’s asked to make before Rasmussen walks.

3:55 in the Wings make it 5-2.  Zadina gets a zone entry that he drives to the middle and bodies off both defenders before spinning and dropping to Suter for a quick snapshot under Vladar. Sure the goalie wants that one back. Too bad. Hockey doesn’t work like that.

I should probably write something else before the period ends just in case nobody scores any more.   Consider this that thing.

The Flames slowly pile on shots as the period grinds down, but honestly a bunch of them are low-quality and the ones that are more-dangerous are rendered impotent by slow shooting decisions.  It’s like looking into a mirror to December.

The Score: 5-2 Wings
The Shots: 35-25 Calgary (15-5)
Observations: That was a skate-to-throat third


Maybe after some sleep I’ll look back at the shot count or fancystats and tell myself this one was based heavily on luck, but really this was the Wings giving up a shorthanded goal and still winning the special teams battle and it was a lot more quantity of attempts by Calgary than quality.

Get ready for Sleepless in Seattle Saturday. 10:30 game coming next.

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