The Detroit Red Wings started the second half of the season by playing the role of Road Warriors. No, I’m not talking about Mel Gibson playing the role of “Mad Max” or the WWE tag team of Hawk and Animal. The Red Wings came in to the Scotiabank Saddledome and doused the Calgary Flames 3-1.
Cory Emmerton, Jiri Hudler, and Drew Miller scored for the Red Wings and All-Star goalie Jimmy Howard recorded 28 saves for his league-leading 31st win. The Red Wings and Flames tied their season series at 2-2.
The Red Wings scored the lone goal at 5:57 of the first period when Jan Mursak carried the puck into the Flames’ zone and dropped it for Justin Abdelkader, who blasted it from the top of the left circle, but Cory Emmerton picked up the rebound to put it past Flames’ goalie Mikka Kiprusoff.
The Flames tied things up at 1-1 early in the second period when the recently-acquired Mike Cammalleri scored a power play goal, but that was all that the home team could get past Howard.
The Red Wings got the lead midway through the third period when Valtteri Filppula skated around Chris Butler, who fell on the blueline, and buzzed around the Flames’ net and found an open Hudler, who was in front to poke it in. Miller closed out the scoring as he got a nice goal-mouth pass from Danny Cleary for the 3-1 lead.
Give props to the Red Wings’ third and fourth lines with their solid contributions. The Emmerton-Abledkader-Mursak and Cleary-Helm-Miller lines were very effective and picked the scoring pace.
This gives the Red Wings a 1-1-0 on this current five-game road trip. Yes, we do have to count the 7-2 drubbing by the Montreal Canadiens last Tuesday before the break. This was two points that they had to have, especially on Calgary’s home ice where they haven’t had much success.
The road win gives the Red Wings a 14-14-0 record away from the Joe Louis Arena. They remain on top of the NHL standings with 69 points and having a 20-2-1 record on home ice certainly helps, doesn’t it?
With a three-point lead in the Central Division, they have a litle bit of breathing room. The Nashville Predators are in second with 66 points while the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues are tied for third with 65 points.
The Red Wings take their show on the road when they pay a visit to the Vancouver Canucks at the Rogers Arena on Thursday. Their last meeting on December 21 was a chippy one with the Canucks coming out on top 4-2. This is going to be a huge test for the Red Wings and could be another statement game for them.
About the Author: Alex lives in Hockeytown, USA. He is a huge Red Wings fan going back to the 1985-86 season when they were dead last with 40 points. He has seen the transition from the 'Dead Wings' to one of the top franchises in sports. You can also follow him at twitter.com/alexmuscat73.