Flames Game Day

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

TONIGHT, 5 P.M. JOE LOUIS ARENA TV: SPORTSNET RADIO: FAN 960

CALGARY FLAMES (39-22-6)

DETROIT RED WINGS (44-15-8)

COMING IN

A 3-2 defeat in New Jersey Tuesday night now has the Flames on a three-game losing skid. The Red Wings came up with a 3-2 overtime victory against the Phoenix Coyotes.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

The Joe has not been a fun place to play for the Flames. Counting the three losses in the first-round playoff series in 2007, Calgary has lost eight straight in Detroit and has only one win in the last seven regular-season visits.

SPECIAL TEAMS

POWERPLAY -- Calgary 18.6% (55-295, 16th); Detroit 27% (79-293, 1st).

PENALTY KILLING -- Calgary 84.7% (3rd); Detroit 77.4% (27th).

INJURIES

FLAMES -- LW Todd Bertuzzi (knee), D Mark Giordano (shoulder), LW Rene Bourque (ankle), C Wayne Primeau (broken foot) and D Rhett Warrener (shoulder) are all out.

RED WINGS -- RW Marian Hossa (neck) is day-to-day, but said yesterday he won't play this game. D Andreas Lilja (concussion) is out.

THREE STORYLINES TO WATCH

1. GOALS, GOALS, GOALS

Remember a couple of years ago when the Flames and Red Wings were top lock-down teams defensively? Times have changed. Now, they're both in the bottom third of the NHL in goals-against on a per-game basis. Detroit is 21st and Calgary is 22nd overall, as both teams are hovering near three-goals allowed per game.

2. WHERE DID THE OFFENCE GO?

During their three-game swoon, the Flames have scored a grand total of five goals, and one of them came with less than a second remaining in Tuesday's loss to New Jersey. Over their five prior games, Calgary scored an average of five goals per night. Sure, a couple of key contributors are out of action, but that's no excuse.

3. NEEDING A SPECIAL PERFORMANCE

Both the powerplay and penalty-killing units have hurt the Flames dearly the last three outings. Calgary has surrendered five man-advantage markers in the last three games (posting a 73.7% kill rate) while the powerplay's lone marker in that span was the meaningless last-second goal in New Jersey.

PLAYERS TO KEEP YOUR EYE ON ...

FLAMES

LW Michael Cammalleri -- The club's top goal scorer has gone quiet on this trip, with only one tally through the five games. He's coming off a two-assist outing against the Devils in a 3-2 loss, and has five helpers in as many outings, but has not been nearly as productive tripping the red light on the road as he has at the Dome. Of Cammalleri's 34 goals this season, less than one-third have been scored on the road.

WINGS

G Ty Conklin -- Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock said yesterday he planned to start the former Oilers -- and Sabres, Blue Jackets and Penguins -- goalie between the pipes against the Flames. Makes sense, and not just because he has a superior goals-against average and save percentage compared to Chris Osgood. Conklin has three wins in four career starts against the Flames.

IT'S WORTH NOTING ...

As bleak as it is among the Flames camp with three losses in a row, head coach Mike Keenan's squad is still ahead of the gaggle of teams jockeying for spots in and around the final playoff positions. It would seem he is grateful not to be in that spot, but envious of those teams in one aspect. "There's teams flipping positions, in and out of playoff positions, every day, and I rest assured their approach is desperate. We're going to get to that point sooner than later unless we have some results. When you have desperate players making the application they're capable of making, then your team becomes that much better." ... Yesterday's practice wasn't an optional but Jarome Iginla, Curtis Glencross and Michael Cammalleri, were excused from being on the ice ... Tonight is the last chance for the Flames to set a new standard for their second fastest trip to 40 wins in a season. The record is 59 games, set during the Stanley Cup-winning 1988-89 season, but the second quickest in team history was 69, reached on three occasions, the latest the 1990-91 campaign. Tonight is Calgary's 68th game ... The Wings are expected to make one change to their lineup from last game, inserting D Brett Lebda for D Chris Chelios. LW Tomas Holmstrom returned last game after missing 18 games due to a sports hernia, much to the chagrin of goalies everywhere who don't enjoy seeing his backside at the edge of their crease ... With 96 points, the Wings need just four more to reach the 100-point mark for the ninth straight season and 10th time in 11 campaigns. To show how impressive that achievement is, Calgary has reached the century mark only four times in its history ... Washington's Mike Green is pacing all NHL defencemen with 58 points, but No.-2 on the list is Detroit's Brian Rafalski, with 52 points (9-43-52) ... By placing D Andreas Lilja on the long-term injury list, the Wings are able to keep D Jonathan Ericsson on the roster.

FLAMES SCORING LEADERS

GP G A Pt.

Iginla 67 30 48 78

Cammalleri 66 34 35 69

Jokinen 61 24 21 45

Bertuzzi 57 15 28 43

Langkow 58 18 24 42

Conroy 67 9 32 41

Bourque 58 21 19 40

Phaneuf 67 9 28 37

Moss 66 19 16 35

Glencross 61 11 24 35

Aucoin 67 10 18 28

Leopold 68 7 14 21

Giordano 58 2 17 19

Sarich 67 2 17 19

Boyd 61 10 9 19

Pardy 50 1 9 10

Nystrom 61 3 5 8

Regehr 65 0 8 8

Lundmark 12 2 5 7

Primeau 24 0 4 4

Roy 41 3 0 3

Vanderm'r 30 0 3 3

Van d. Gulik 4 0 2 2

Peters 7 1 0 1

Sutter 4 1 0 1

GP GAA SV%

Kiprusoff 62 2.78 .906

McElhinney 9 3.78 .883

WINGS SCORING LEADERS

GP G A Pt.

Datsyuk 66 25 54 79

Hossa 62 34 27 61

Zetterberg 62 26 33 59

Rafalski 67 9 43 52

Hudler 67 20 30 50

Lidstrom 64 12 33 45

Franzen 56 27 16 43

Kronwall 65 3 37 40

Samuelsson 66 16 20 36

Cleary 59 12 23 35

Filppula 67 9 26 35

Holmstrom 41 14 16 30

Draper 66 7 10 17

Kopecky 64 5 12 17

Lebda 51 5 9 14

Lilja 60 2 11 13

Maltby 63 5 6 11

Stuart 52 1 9 10

Leino 13 5 4 9

Meech 33 2 5 7

Downey 4 1 1 2

McCarty 13 1 0 1

Ericsson 4 0 1 1

Helm 16 0 1 1

Chelios 21 0 0 0

GP GAA SV%

Conklin 35 2.38 .914

Osgood 35 3.30 .878


Videos

Photos