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The crippled Red Wings were handed their 2nd straight loss on Tuesday night at the hand of the Calgary Flames. It wasn’t so much that the Red Wings played a poor game, the Flames just played better. They did everything that a road team could want in this game. They scored early, with Jarome Iginla getting his 1st of the year just 3:24 into the game. They took advantage of the power play, going 2 for 5 with goals by Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano. And lastly, they got great goaltending, even from an unlikely source, Leland Irving. Irving took over after the 2nd period when Miikka Kiprusoff departed.
Detroit was simply outplayed by a hungrier and flat out better Calgary team. The Flames had to have been feeling the pressure, having just 1 win so far this season. Bob Hartley’s gang did everything right, and got their 2nd W of the season by a 4-1 score.
The key question moving forward for Calgary will be the status of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff. “Kipper” left after the 2nd period with a reported lower body injury. The stud goalie has been a lifeline for the Flames the past 5 years and if he’s gone for any length of time, that will be real trouble for Calgary.
Johan Franzen scored a 2nd period power play goal for the Red Wings, just his 3rd goal of the season. Detroit had many chances, but couldn’t finish. The power play (even though they scored tonight) continues to be a huge problem. Then again, that’s to be expected after losing 2 of your biggest power play point producers in the last 15 years in the offseason. (Lidstrom and Holmstrom). Jimmy Howard will definitely get a night off sometime during the next 3 games. 20-year old Petr Mrazek will start either in St. Louis on Thursday, or back home over the weekend against Edmonton or Los Angeles.
The Wings will regroup and head to St. Louis knowing the performance they gave tonight will not be acceptable come Thursday night.