Red Wings-Flames Preview


The Detroit Red Wings hope they're able to build on a much-needed victory that opened their trip through western and central Canada.

Looking to win consecutive games for the first time in two weeks, the Red Wings try to avoid a fourth straight loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

Detroit (7-4-2) held a 14-7 scoring advantage during a four-game winning streak Oct. 12-17, but followed with an 0-2-2 stretch where it was outscored 15-5. The Red Wings mustered enough offense and played better in front of Jimmy Howard to end that slide with a 2-1 victory at Vancouver on Wednesday.

"We believe we've gone through enough details that we should know how to play and we should be able to do it on a nightly basis," coach Mike Babcock said. "(Wednesday) was a good step for our team. Now we've got to match it."

Daniel Alfredsson tied the game in the second with his third goal and Tomas Tatar added his first of the season later in the period. Detroit held the Canucks to 20 shots one game after yielding 40 in Saturday's 3-2 overtime defeat to the New York Rangers.

"When we're careless with the puck and careless with our structure we don't look very good," Babcock told the NHL's official website. "We're a team that needs to play a certain way to be successful."

The Red Wings were able to do that by controlling the puck most of the night Wednesday and tightening up defensively.

They hope to carry over that solid effort during the rest of a trip that continues with games against Calgary (5-5-2) and Edmonton on consecutive nights and the finale in Winnipeg on Monday. A frequent visitor to western Canada during their years in the Western Conference, the Red Wings need to make only one trip per season to these parts while a member of the East.

Detroit was outscored 12-5 while losing all three meetings against the Flames last season, with the last two in Calgary.

The Flames, however, have dropped five of seven following Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Toronto at home. Calgary outshot the Maple Leafs 43-22 but fell behind 2-0 in the first period before managing to get within one twice on goals by Matt Stajan and David Jones.

"It's just so frustrating right now," forward Joe Colborne said. "I thought we played a pretty good game from the top on down. We were going to the net hard, we were creating secondary rebound chances and it was just one of those nights where things aren't going to go in."

The Flames failed to convert on five power-play chances and are 0 for 13 in four games since they went 3 for 6 in a 3-2 win at Los Angeles on Oct. 21.

Calgary was 3 for 8 with the man advantage against Detroit last season.

Flames forward and ex-Red Wing Jiri Hudler has a team-leading 13 points but one in the last three contests. He was held without a point against Detroit last season.

Alfredsson has scored in back-to-back games and has a goal in each of his last two versus Calgary.