by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Detroit 3 Calgary 2
CALGARY — Justin Abdelkader and Henrik Zetterberg each had a goal and an assist to lead the Detroit Red Wings to a 3-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.
Riley Sheahan also scored for Detroit (22-10-9), which has won five of its last seven games. The Red Wings have won two of their first three games on a six-game road trip.
Mason Raymond and Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary (21-17-3). The Flames are 3-2-0 with one game to go in a six-game homestand.
The Flames reach the halfway point of the season in ninth place in the Western Conference, two points back of the second wild card spot. Also at the 41-game mark, Detroit is third in the Atlantic Division, one point back of Montreal.
Detroit took a 2-1 lead at 17:28 of the second period, shortly after killing off its third consecutive minor penalty – and second to Abdelkader.
Zetterberg started the sequence by beating Sean Monahan on a face-off deep in the Flames end. Detroit worked the puck around and eventually Zetterberg got it back on a pass from Abdelkader and fired his 10th of the season past Jonas Hiller from the side of the net.
Five of Zetterberg’s goals have come in his last nine games. Joined on the line by Gustav Nyquist, who had two assists, the same trio combined for an important insurance goal 2:03 into the third period to make it 3-1. That goal, Abdelkader’s career-high 11th, was the eventual winner. Calgary cut the deficit to 3-2 on Backlund’s short-handed goal at 5:13 as he backhanded in a nice pass from Paul Byron.
However, despite coming on strong for the rest of the game, Calgary could not get the game back to even.
Nine seconds into a Detroit penalty, Jonathan Ericsson got the puck behind the net and fired it over the glass. While replays showed the puck went straight out of play, the officials – without that benefit – huddled to discuss the play and did not assess a penalty.
Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie hit the goal post shortly after.
A Byron goal with 1:20 left in the game was waved off because just seconds before, Wings goaltender Petr Mrazek had his helmet knocked off when Ericsson pushed Curtis Glencross into him.
Calgary did not take advantage of four power plays throughout the game. Ranked 26th entering the game, the Flames’ power play is 3 for 38 in its the last 11 contests. Detroit entered the night ranked fourth in penalty killing.
Hiller entered the game halfway through the second period in relief of Karri Ramo.
Making his first start since Dec. 16, Ramo only made it halfway through the second period for the second game in a row.
Last game against the New York Rangers, he was pulled after giving up four goals on 13 shots. This time, Ramo had 12 saves and was locked in a 1-1 tie when he was injured in a collision with Raphael Diaz, his own defenceman.
Racing out of his crease to dive and knock the puck away from Wings forward Drew Miller, Ramo was kneed in the head by Diaz, who was chasing after Miller, and was sent flying in the collision.
Ramo was helped off the ice and immediately went to the dressing room. He did not return.
Back in the line-up after being scratched the past two games, Raymond gave the Flames a 1-0 lead 2:27 into the game. His shot from a sharp angle was stopped but the rebound came back to him and he circled behind the net and tucked in his first goal since Oct. 19.
Raymond (shoulder) had missed 18 games before returning in early December. However, he found himself in the press box after being held without a point in 10 games.
The Red Wings tied it at 7:58 on a goal from Sheahan.
After Raymond turned the puck over, Sheahan burned down the wing, made a nice move to beat Deryk Engelland to the outside, then put a perfect shot over Ramo’s shoulder and just under the crossbar. It was his eighth goal of the year and first in 11 games.
Notes: The Flames were without leading scorer Jiri Hudler, who was a last minute scratch to join his wife, who was about to give birth to their first child… The Red Wings were without forwards Johan Franzen (upper body) and Tomas Jurco (back). That resulted in the return of Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson, who both sat out the last six games… The Flames activated Ladislav Smid (upper body) off injured reserve but he did not play. To make roster space for Backlund and Smid, rookie C Markus Granlund and D Corey Potter were returned to Adirondack (AHL).