Message sent in Iginla's fight

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 5:20 PM ET


DETROIT --  His hand bleeding from a punch thrown, Jarome Iginla denied yesterday's late-game fireworks had anything to do with frustration.

 He did admit though it was a sign he and his teammates were through with being slightly awestruck.

 In the city where Aretha Franklin's R-E-S-P-E-C-T originated, the Calgary Flames decided they'd been giving too much to the Motor City crew.

 It was too little and too late to change the result of yesterday's game but what transpired near the end may have some impact on the rest of their playoff series, which swings to the Stampede City beginning Tuesday.

 "It wasn't frustration. It was the result of a slash here and a slash there and that's what happens in hockey," Iginla said of his scrap with defenceman Derian Hatcher. "We didn't expect it to be easy and neither did the Red Wings.

 "It's a fine line. Everybody respects the Red Wings, they're a great hockey club, but at the same time we're effective we're playing physical, in your face and that's what we have to do more.

 "(Steve) Yzerman's one of the guys I looked up to the most and after getting a chance to meet him I look up to him even more but at the same time, it's hockey.

 "Look how good he is, you've got to try and hit him -- you've got to try and hit all these guys. They're skilled players and the way for us to be effective is to play physical and in-your-face-hockey style.

 "Even though we only got 16 shots, when we did that was when we got some results and will try to do even more of that in Game 3."

 Despite being tied with a win apiece in the best-of-seven series, the Flames haven't been anything like the hard forechecking, in-your-face club we've seen through the season.

 At least not for most of yesterday's defeat.

 When the bodies began flying most visible was Ville Nieminen, who slammed Yzerman a couple of times with solid checks but Iginla drove the point home to his teammates by dropping the gloves with the hulking Hatcher. At the same time, Flames defenceman Mike Commodore also fought with Darren McCarty.

 "That's a captain stepping up for his team and doing his part and showing 'We're going to battle right to the end,' " said Wings forward Ray Whitney. "We'll get right back at it in (a few) days and expect that kind of intensity from him next game."

 Actually, Nieminen said, it can be expected from every player.

 "That's not the first time when a losing team is doing those kind of things in the playoffs," said the pesky winger, who also drew the Wings' ire when he drove the net long after Curtis Joseph smothered a long shot. "We just wanted to play Flames hockey. We wanted to skate and wanted some kind of good feeling in that game."

 Nieminen denied targeting Yzerman, even though the Wings were looking for retribution.

 "We just wanted to play Flames hockey," Nieminen said. "We didn't try to be overly physical or anything like that. It was not anything like that. We just worked hard and checked hard but it was the third period and already too late."


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