SUN Hockey Pool

Goalie not so 'Good

Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood allowed three goals on 14 shots against the Flames. (Sun...

Red Wings goaltender Chris Osgood allowed three goals on 14 shots against the Flames. (Sun Media/Darren Makowichuk)

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

A key to victory is taking advantage of you opponent's weakness.

The Calgary Flames get full marks for exposing the Detroit Red Wings soft spot in last night's 5-3 win.

Detroit's shortcoming is goaltending, and the Flames poked all the holes needed in that soft underbelly with three goals Wings netminder Chris Osgood wouldn't allow on nearly any other night.

But scoring soft goals against a goalie known for surrendering them is no different than exposing lead-footed defencemen or poor defensive forwards, and the Flames weren't about to apologize for beating the defending Stanley Cup champs in the process.

"Everybody has off days and you could see he was battling it a bit, so we put pucks on the net and got there, but it was more than just a couple of breaks," insisted Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

"I thought we did a good job as a team staying out of the (penalty) box -- our defence did a great job against them down low, kept the sticks down and the hooks and stayed disciplined -- and we were drawing penalties. We got some breaks, but I think we played a good game and worked hard.

"We worked for them. We still had some other scoring chances that didn't go in. It's not like those were our only scoring chances. We know how good they are and are never out of any game."

Dion Phaneuf, Jamie Lundmark and Michael Cammalleri all scored before the game's midway point to provide the hosts with a three-goal lead and chase Osgood from the net to the delight of the Saddledome sellout crowd of 19,289.

Only a player on the right side of the equation would see the beauty in any of those tallies.

Phaneuf's was a long wrister that went in off Osgood's glove. Lundmark's was from near the boards and nearly along the goal line.

Cammalleri's was a bank shot from behind the line, using the netminder's skate as a backboard.

Knowing their opposing goalie was fighting the puck, it came down to simply firing from anywhere and everywhere.

Lundmark's goal was a prime example.

"I saw Cammy going to the front of the net, so if anything he's there for the rebound," said Lundmark, who's collected five points in two games against Detroit.

"You could tell (Osgood) was kinda struggling, and in the first period I didn't take a shot when Cammy passed it to me, so I was making sure that got to the net."

The Flames (42-24-6) extended their lead on the Vancouver Canucks to five points in the Northwest Division chase.

However, the Wings are fighting for top spot in the league because of their potent offence, and nearly found enough firepower to bounce back.

When Curtis Glencross scored to make it 4-1, it appeared the game was over, but Johan Franzen and Jiri Hudler scored within three minutes of each other in the middle of the final frame to make it a one-goal game.

Fortunately for the hosts, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff slammed the door in a 30-save performance for his 42nd win of the season, which ties his franchise record.

"You can't say enough about Kipper," Lundmark said.

"He wins games for us, was solid again tonight. It's good to know in the back of your head if you make a mistake, you have him in net. It's a big thing for our team's confidence."

Craig Conroy's empty netter iced the win, Calgary's second straight over Detroit.

Cammalleri finished with three points.

Pavel Datsyuk also scored for Detroit (48-16-9), which had its four-game winning streak snapped.

Calgary now embarks on a two-game road swing that starts tomorrow in Pittsburgh.


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