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Flameout! Reimer, Wings Extinguish Flames 5-0

Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

1st Period

As expected, Reimer is in net this afternoon opposite Markstrom. First line on the ice is Kane, Rasmussen, Larkin, Petry, and Chiarot. This could be interesting. The first 90 seconds is all Calgary. Reimer gave up a scary rebound, but no damage. Bleneded Line 3 of Copp, Veleno, and Perron nearly fools Markstrom with a sharp angle shot, but that’s all Detroit is able to manufacture in the first five minutes. Reimer looks shaky and duck-y so far, and there’s already been a healthy handful of bad defensive zone turnovers from the Wings. As I type that, Walman turns the puck over in the d-zone and Reimer doesn’t duck, making a face save. Debrincat turns the puck over in his own zone a couple more times forcing Reimer to make his 4th save, probably his first one on purpose, and we head to the first commercial break with the Wings looking to be in dire need of some combobulation.

The Flames come out of the commercial keeping the puck in our zone for another 90 seconds. The first outright good-looking offensive play from a Red Wing comes from Fischer on a good forecheck behind Markstrom. He’s rewarded for his effort moments later with a glorious chance but Markstrom makes a strong pad save. My very-official count at the halfway point of this period is Detroit with 2 shots, 1 scoring chance, Calgary with 7 shots, 8 scoring chances.

After a couple of looks from Seider and Debrincat, the Flames get back on the attack. Huberdeau gets some really scary shots on net, but Reimer makes two really outstanding saves. The second kicks out to Sharangovich on the far side, but Reimer is able to find some tremendous mobility and makes a flashy trapper save to send us to commercial. Three huge saves from Reimer in the span of about six seconds keep this one-sided affair scoreless.

The Flames continue dominating possession, and ring one off some friendly iron. Gostisbehere takes a stick to the moneymaker at neutral ice and it’s time for a RRRRRRED WINGS POWER PLAY! Hopefully this breaks the habit of perpetual Flames possession.

The blender continues on the power play, as it’s Fabbri, Debrincat, Sprong, Kane, and Seider out as the first unit on the first power play for the Red Wings this afternoon. And it works! Fabbri wins the draw cleanly back to Seider, who swings it over to Kane at the right point who buries the one-time slapper past Markstrom’s blocker!

DRW 1 – CGY 0

I have an annuity and I need. goals. now. Raymond and Debrincat create a turnover in the o-zone, and get it to Compher in the slot and Markstrom is very angry! More elite work on the forecheck by Mr. Lucas Raymond, and J.T. makes no mistake. Two Red Wings goals in a minute and three seconds!

DRW 2 – CGY 0

Ken and Murph are now talking about how much this line juggling is working because those first 15 minutes never happened. Murph then talks about Reimer’s work effort as an explanation for how strong he has been this period. Good thing too as Raymond has an egregious giveaway to the doorstep where a wide open Mangiapane was unable to beat Reimer’s blocker.

With a buck-47 to go, we’ll play the rest of the period 4-on-4 after a little neutral zone tussle. A little this and that, but then a great play at the Calgary blue line by Compher is followed by a nice move from Chiarot that results in a sure goal for Debrincat but he inexplicably misses the net. The Wings sustain the onslaught, and with just seconds remaining Debrincat and Petry have a mini 2-on-0 against Markstrom at the crease, but Markstrom makes a nearly miraculous save on Petry.

End 1. DRW 2 – CGY 0

2nd Period

The 4-on-4 ends with Chiarot cross-checking/boarding Mangiapane and the Wings will have to kill their first non-offset penalty. The Flames create a couple of really strong chances with some nice puck movement, but Reimer made two strong saves in the first 40 seconds of the kill. With 40 seconds left, Zary finds himself all alone on Reimer’s right side and makes a good move but carries the puck past the goal line and puts the puck right back under Reimer’s sprawled pads. Nothing of note after that and the penalty is killed.

It’s time for 4-on-4 again as Pachal and Veleno head to the box for offsetting roughing minors (it was all Pachal’s fault, of course). Compher wins the faceoff – the Red Wings have been absolutely dominating the dot so far this afternoon – that eventually leads to a low-danger chance for Seider but that’s Seider’s 3rd shot of the game and it’s great to see him shooting. With 1:19 left on the 4-on-4, Larkin gets tripped/elbowed and it’s time for a RRRRRRED WINGS POWER PLAY!

A snakebit Debrincat clangs one off the iron to start things, but the Wings maintain possession and make great use and quick use of the open ice, moving the puck beautifully from Debrincat to Kane to Gostisbehere to Kane to Larkin in the crease who bangs it home!

DRW 3 – CGY 0

The remaining 4-on-4 ends with some really pretty cross-ice passing from the Red Wings culminating in a big giant slapper from Gostisbehere from the high slot, but Markstrom is able to squeeze the pads in time to send us to commercial.

Coming out of the commercial, Veleno gathers the puck neatly in the neutral zone, springs Copp on an entry pass who makes a couple of really nice stick handles before making a truly elite backhand pass to Perron’s wheelhouse in the slot and Markstrom is taking the rest of the night off.

DRW 4 – CGY 0

Immediately, the Red Wings test the Flames’ second goaltender of the day, Dan Vladar, with a nasty wrister from Daniel Sprong in the slot, but Vladar is up to the challenge. Ken says this is the first time this season Jacob Markstrom has been pulled. You love to see it. Even though the Red Wings have dominated the last five minutes of the first period and the first 9 of the second period, they still trail quite a bit in SOG: 19 for Calgary, 12 for Detroit. Sounds to me like Jacob Markstrom’s trade value is plummeting while James Reimer’s is skyrocketing. Not much happens until the commercial break when BSD shows David Perron’s smiling face after scoring his goal and I dare you to look at him and not smile along with him.

The Flames have started to generate a little pressure, and for the first time all afternoon, you can hear the crowd. The Flames nearly miss a deflection chance and the crowd quickly quiets back down. Kadri absolutely smashes Gostisbehere as Ghost clears the zone, and as soon as Calgary regains the zone, Veleno heads to the sin bin for hooking. The Wings’ structure on this kill is really quite pretty. Calgary makes some really great plays and creates an early chance, but the support is always there. With three seconds left in the penalty, the Flames get another dangerous chance, but Reimer and the overall team structure remain super tough. Penalty killed!

Detroit flips the ice again after the kill. After a brief zone clear from the Flames, Gostisbehere fans on a dump in attempt that results in a limited odd-man rush for the Flames that was backchecked well and handled by Reimer with no issue. Off to the final commercial break of the middle frame with the Red Wings in full control of this game.

Continuing the recent paragraphs’ themes, the Flames have really reestablished offensive zone control in the waning minutes of the second period. But, the Wings’ team structure and Reimer’s strong play in net continue to keep the home team off the scoreboard. Unofficial shots on goal are 26 for Calgary, 15 for Detroit. With 92 seconds remaining in the second period, Rasmussen is tripped while trying to clear his zone and it’s time for a RRRRRED WINGS POWER PLAY!

The Wings win another faceoff, which leads to a quick shot from Debrincat 10 seconds into the power play. Vladar makes the save, but looks like a confused cartoon character while doing so. On the ensuing faceoff, Backlund did some inappropriate things to Fabbri. Because the game is lopsided, the refs give 4 minutes to Fabbri (two 2-minute minors for roughing), but just two to Backlund. It’ll now be 4-on-4 for the remainder of the period. You know, because reasons.

End 2 DRW 4 – CGY 0

3rd Period

Murph starts the third period with a quick expose on Moritz’s exploits and yep, he’s been stellar this afternoon. We start yet another period 4-on-4 with Rasmussen, Larkin, Sedier, and Walman. Rasmussen quickly finds himself with a breakaway and beats Vladar but not the iron. That would’ve been an absolute dagger.

Reimer makes another couple of big saves thru traffic two shifts later. He’s been absolutely terrific today. The next shift he makes another one on Weegar showing off both great anticipation and mobility.

The Wings are collapsing (fairly effectively). Not much until some more after-the-whistle extracurriculars earn Pospisil 2 minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct and it’s time for a RRRRRRED WINGS POWER PLAY. The first unit creates nothing. The second unit looks momentarily scarier with Raymond and Larkin buzzing, but the only chance on that power play belongs to the Flames. Commercial time with 12:45 to go and everyone’s thinking about what to have for dinner.

Veleno and Copp create some turnovers on the ensuing shift and Veleno gets a great look, but Vladar makes the save. In spite of being up 4, the Red Wings are still pressuring nicely. A couple of shifts later, Zary puts on a very exasperated show after tripping Gostisbehere in the Red Wings’ zone and it’s time for a RRRRRRED WINGS POWER PLAY!

A very suspect first minute of this power play. After that, Fabbri makes an amazing no-look backhand pass to Debrincat who can’t buy a goal. The Flames get a shorthanded rush. Seider gets a hooking penalty to stop it, and that’s the end of the Wings’ fifth man advantage. Veleno gets himself a rush off the ensuing 4-on-4 faceoff, but then adds himself to the penalty parade with an ill-advised offensive zone holding after he loses control of the puck. The Wings will be looking to kill over 90 seconds of a 5-on-3 after the commercial break.

Chiarot, Petry, and Compher kill the initial 4-on-3 effectively. The Flames get back into the Wings’ zone and almost immediately clang the iron. After that, Petry is absolutely swarming on this 5-on-3 and doesn’t allow the Flames to set anything up. They send the puck into the netting with only 33 seconds remaining on the two-man advantage and the Flames take a timeout.

Dylan Larkin cleanly wins the ensuing faceoff and the Wings clear the zone. Sharangovich fans on a shot, Reimer makes another strong save, and both Red Wings penalties are killed! Veleno clears the puck and the refs call a really bad icing and even Ken says, “Wow, that’s a 4-0 icing call.” No matter. The Wings win another faceoff and get the line change..

Ladies and gentlemen, Lucas Raymond is an elite hockey player. Seider dumps the puck in, Raymond corrals it, skates around the Flames’ zone for a few moments, and rips a wrister past Vladar. The Flames looked flatfooted, apathetic, even downright lazy on that coverage, and you just can’t do that when a guy like Raymond has the puck on his stick.

DRW 5 – CGY 0

Reimer makes another big save for his unofficial 37th of the night. Murph says, “I don’t think he’s had one that he was lucky that it hit him.” Other than Reimer’s first three saves today, I would completely agree. Reimer has been a stud today. 90 seconds remain and the Wings continue to forecheck in spite of their comfortable lead. Two very important points to go with a nice scoreboard statement.

Final Thoughts:

It’s hard to be mad at a 5-0 win. Every two points are huge the rest of the way and this was an emphatic way to stop the bleeding after giving up 12 goals in the last two games. That said, a lot of this game was dictated by Calgary – not just possession, but the scoreboard results as well. A big chunk of Calgary’s edge in shots on goal was due to the Red Wings’ inability to clear the puck from their own zone. Still, if Debrincat wasn’t so snakebit right now, this final could have been 8-0. The penalty kill in particular has really impressed of late. Let’s go get another critical two points Monday afternoon and make both West-Coast trips this season a resounding success!

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