Saturday, April 21, 2007

Red Wings vs. Flames: Game 5 Recap

Don't expect Detroit to come out flat in Calgary tomorrow night. Not after Calgary backup goalie Jamie McClennan whacked Johan Franzen across the midsection with his goalie paddle. Not after Jarome Iginla used Mathieu Schneider as a target for every stick infraction imaginable. Not after Marcus Nilson cross-checked Kris Draper for, well, being there.

Calgary certainly lost their composure in the waning moments of Game 5. Maybe because they got their asses handed to them by the Red Wings. Coming into the game, the biggest concerns facing Detroit were how they would perform on the power play and the penalty kill. Three power play and two shorthanded goals later, those concerns were put to rest. The Wings won every major statistical category, outshooting Calgary 38-24, outhitting them 34-24, and absolutely dominating the Flames on faceoffs, holding a 51-21 edge.

Henrik Zetterberg looked 100% for the first time since returning from a back injury, netting two power play goals. Niklas Lidstrom tallied four assists, including a beautiful pass on Pavel Datsyuk's power play goal in the third as Lidstrom faked a shot and fired a hard pass to Datsyuk at the side of the Calgary net to give Detroit a 5-1 lead. Daniel Cleary continued his incredibly energetic play, scoring on a penalty shot in the first after being dragged down on a shorthanded breakaway and driving Calgary nuts on the forecheck after returning from a scary fall against the boards in the middle period. Chris Chelios even got in on the act, jumping in to a shorthanded odd-man rush and firing a slap shot by Kiprusoff for his first goal this season.

This was a great victory for Detroit, and Calgary's late-game antics should provide the Wings with all the motivation they need to dispatch the Flames tomorrow night in western Canada.

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