Flames fightin' power outage

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:10 PM ET


 The Detroit Red Wings managed to fix their underachieving powerplay.

 Now it's the Calgary Flames' turn.

 Heading into tonight's Game 3 of their second-round series, the Flames have generated just one goal in 17 man-advantage chances on home ice.

 "It's simple," said Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter yesterday.

 "We need our defencemen to shoot pucks more on our powerplay."

 Not just shoot more, Sutter added, get them through to the net and force Wings netminder Curtis Joseph to make the save.

 They don't necessarily have to be blistering blasts of the Al MacInnis variety. Flames blueliner Robyn Regehr, after all, put a seeing-eye wrister past Joseph in Game 1.

 "If you look at Detroit's defencemen, they're hammering shots through all the time," said Flames d-man Mike Commodore.

 Added fellow blueliner Steve Montador: "We recognize five-on-five or powerplay, we have to get shots on the net. You're not going to score unless you shoot. It's a cliche but it's the truth. It's the way it works for them against us and it's the way it'll work for us against them."

 Still, it won't be easy.

 The Red Wings' experienced penalty killers have allowed just one powerplay goal in 37 chances to lead all NHL playoff teams.

 The secret to their success is versatility.

 The Wings penalty kill uses a speed and pressure game when head coach Dave Lewis utilizes Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby.

 And when Lewis sends Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan over the boards, the Wings' PK relies less on pressure and more on read and reaction.

 "When they're switching things up the way they do, they are trying to catch you offguard," said Commodore.

 "And when you don't realize what's coming, that's when you make a mistake and pass to the wrong guy or turn the puck over. If you're a second late on the read, these guys are all over you and you're going to be forced to do what you might not want to.

 "We can't be having the shots blocked and turning the pucks over up high, otherwise our forwards are doing all the work down low for nothing," Commodore said.

 "At the very worst, we have to be able to get it back down low so the forwards can go at it again."


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