It was a night to forget for Jonas Gustavsson and the Detroit Red Wings as they fell 5-2 to the Calgary Flames Wednesday. It was Detroit’s third consecutive loss and their second to Calgary this season.
In their first meeting of the year, Miikka Kiprusoff suffered an MCL sprain which kept the veteran goaltender out for a month.
In this game, Kiprusoff was in fine form, making 38 saves while his teammates scored in bunches.
The Red Wings seemed to carry the play at times, but turnovers, poor defense and a less-than-stellar showing from Gustavsson all contributed to the loss.
Detroit opened the scoring early when Pavel Datsyuk passed off to Niklas Kronwall who wired a shot by Kiprusoff.
The home crowd wasn’t silent for long, as a couple minutes later the Flames' power play came through.
Mike Cammalleri sent Alex Tanguay in on a break and he beat Gustavsson with a deke to even the score.
Just before the halfway mark of the period, Jay Bouwmeester put the Flames ahead. The defenseman’s shot was stopped by Gustavsson, but then bounced off Jakub Kindl and into the net.
Despite outplaying and outshooting the Flames 15-6, the Red Wings went into the intermission down a goal. Their strong play didn’t carry over to the second however, as the Flames came out with an effective forecheck which led to a few scoring chances.
Still down 2-1 with five minutes to go in the second, Detroit got a great opportunity when former Red Wing Jiri Hudler went off for goaltender interference.
After a couple chances, including a Valtteri Filppula shot off the post, the Red Wings finally scored. Filppula made no mistake this time, burying a rebound for his fifth goal of the year.
It was the Red Wings’ first power play goal on the road this season. They had gone 0-37 leading up to that point.
The score remained tied through two periods, with the Red Wings outshooting the Flames 27-11.
Just over five minutes into the third, Curtis Glencross drew Gustavsson out of position before making a nice pass through the slot to Lee Stempniak, who hit the open net.
Minutes later Glencross was at it again. This time firing a quick wrist shot below Gustavsson’s glove to put the Flames up two. And less than a minute later, Blake Comeau put the game out of reach with his second goal of the season.
Gustavsson faced just 22 shots on the night, stopping 17 of them. One of his few good plays was robbing Mikael Backlund on a penalty shot in the third.
The Red Wings were outplayed physically most of the game and when they did generate good pressure Kiprusoff was there to shut the door.
With the win, Calgary ended a three-game losing skid in which they scored a combined three goals. They are now tied with the Colorado Avalanche for the worst record in the Western Conference.
The Red Wings find themselves in a tie for sixth with the Phoenix Coyotes. However, the Coyotes and all the other teams ahead of the Wings have at least one game in hand.