Hudler's go-ahead goal lifts Wings over Flames
CALGARY, Alberta – Jiri Hudler scored the go-ahead goal at 11:29 of the third period to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
Flames defenseman Chris Butler lost his balance and fell inside the Calgary blue line, allowing Valtteri Filppula to wheel around him and carry the puck deep into the Calgary zone. Filppula's centering pass caromed off the side of the net and went right to Hudler, who had an empty net to shoot at as goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was trapped out of position.
Drew Miller made it a two-goal cushion four minutes later, converting a pretty goal mouth pass from Danny Cleary. Cory Emmerton also scored for Detroit (34-16-1).
Jimmy Howard made 28 saves for his NHL-leading 31st victory. It was a solid bounce-back outing for Howard, who was pulled after the first period in his last game before the All-Star break after surrendering four goals to Montreal on 12 shots.
The Red Wings are 1-1 on their five-game road trip that continues Thursday night in Vancouver.
Mike Cammalleri scored the lone goal for Calgary (23-22-6), which has lost three straight at home following an eight-game winning streak there.
Detroit and Calgary split their four-game season series.
The Flames tied the game 1-1 on Cammalleri's power play goal 1:59 into the second period. Alex Tanguay's slap shot hit a Detroit player in front and fell at the feet of Cammalleri. His first shot was stopped, but he whacked the rebound past Howard with a backhander.
Cammalleri, acquired on Jan. 12 in a trade with Montreal, scored the following night against Los Angeles in his first game with the Flames, but was held pointless in his previous four.
Detroit struck first at 5:57 of the first period on a goal from its fourth line.
Justin Abdelkader's slap shot from the wing was kicked out by Kiprusoff, but right onto the stick of Emmerton, who was breaking in on the other side. The Red Wings rookie buried his first goal in 11 games and fifth of the season.
Detroit nearly made it 2-0 in the final minute of the first but Kiprusoff sprawled to rob Cleary after Abdelkader set him up at the side of the net. Video replay confirmed the puck didn't cross the line as Kiprusoff smothered it.
Kiprusoff finished with 22 saves.
Looking to spark a struggling offense, held to one goal or fewer in four of six games, Calgary coach Brent Sutter changed up the combinations on the Flames' top two lines. Tanguay was reunited with Jarome Iginla on a line centered by Mikael Backlund. Cammalleri dropped to a line with Olli Jokinen and Blake Comeau.
NOTES: The Flames honored former captain and assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, who died last summer in the Lokomotiv airplane crash in Russia. McCrimmon played on the Flames' 1989 Stanley Cup-winning team. McCrimmon's family was on hand for the pregame ceremony and video tribute. ... Detroit LW Tomas Holmstrom (sore knees) didn't play, but expects to play on Thursday. ... Calgary RW Lee Stempniak (lower body) left the game in the first period. ... Kiprusoff played in his 526th NHL game, tying him with Mike Vernon for first on the Flames' career list for goalies. ... Detroit ranks second to last in the NHL in average penalty minutes per game (8.4).