The defenseman scored his first goal of the postseason midway through the third period as the top-seeded Red Wings beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 Thursday night and evened the second-round playoff series 2-2.
Tomas Holmstrom fired a shot that Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff got a piece of. The puck squirted through his legs and lay in the crease, where Dandenault nudged it over the line to give the Red Wings a 3-2 lead with 9:58 left.
Game 5 of the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals series is Saturday at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.
“We have a good home record and we play well there so with the fans back at the Joe we believe we can turn it up a notch,” Joseph said.
“I think we wanted to match their work ethic and even exceed it,” Red Wings goaltender Curtis Joseph said. “We feel we’ve got a skilled hockey club, but if we work as hard as any team we’re going to be in good shape.”
Just about everyone in the chanting, flag-waving crowd of 19,289 wore either a Calgary jersey, a shirt with a Flames logo, or something red. One fan was dressed in full hockey gear, including a helmet with a face shield, and skates.
Gelinas started the Flames’ comeback at 5:45 of the second period. Jarome Iginla got the puck out from a scrum in front of the Detroit net and backhanded a pass to Gelinas, who beat Joseph with a shot to the high side.
The crowd was still cheering that goal when Nieminen tied it at 6:03.
Shean Donovan, sprawled on the ice, slipped the puck to Nieminen, who waited for Joseph to go down before tucking the puck into the corner of the net.
“I think we made a heck of a comeback again tonight being down in the first like that,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said.
Detroit quickly called a timeout and the crowd began the chants of “Cujo, Cujo.”
Just moments later, Joseph—celebrating his 37th birthday—stopped Nieminen on a two-on-one breakaway.
In the closing seconds, and the game no longer in doubt, Nieminen slammed into Joseph and knocked him back into the goal. Nieminen drilled him high, and Joseph held his head while lying flat on his back.
Nieminen was given a major penalty for charging and was ejected.
Maltby’s goal 26 seconds into the game seemed to put the Flames on their heels and energize the Red Wings.
Calgary went over 10 minutes without recording a shot while Detroit efficiently controlled play. The Flames finally regrouped and began applying pressure on the Red Wings in the last half of the period.
Devereaux made it 2-0 three minutes into the second period when his shot from the top of the circle went through the legs of Calgary defenseman Steve Montador and past a screened Kiprusoff.
“The third was there for both teams and they beat us, they got an important goal,” Iginla said. “And now it’s on to the next game, that’s how we faceevery game. It was a tough one and now we look to the next one.”
: The Flames are 6-2 in series they’ve led 2-1. They lost in 1993 to Los Angeles and 1994 to Vancouver. … Since 1990, the Red Wings are 3-2 in series they trailed 2-1. … The average age of Calgary’s defensemen is 24, compared to 31 for the Red Wings. … Flames president Ken King said the team’s playoffcould help it turn “a modest profit” this season.