NHL Preview 10-17-19: Detroit Red Wings vs Calgary Flames

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51  Detroit Red Wings  6  + 1.5 (- 125)

52  Calgary Flames   – 245  – 1.5 (+ 105)

Two straight losses with a combined 10 goals allowed have the Detroit Red Wings in one of two places: They’re either becoming the projected bottom feeders all of the pundits predicted, or they’re in a swoon and can pull out of it.

The Red Wings believe their defeats are just an aberration as they head into Thursday’s road clash at the Calgary Flames.

“We’re not good enough to come out and just throw our sticks out there and play hockey,” said Detroit forward Dylan Larkin. “We need to battle, we need to block shots, the (penalty kill) needs to be good, we need to win battles in front of our net, and we didn’t do any of that (Tuesday) and it’s frustrating.”

The Wings are coming off a 5-1 loss to the Vancouver Canucks, a game that started on a high with Larkin scoring 30 seconds into the affair.

“I’m not sure what happened. You score on the first shift, you would think that the whole team gets momentum, but somehow we managed to give it back to them,” center Frans Nielsen told the Detroit Free Press.

“Not good enough. They just wanted it a little more than us. Special teams, not good enough. Structure-wise we’re fine, it just comes down to working harder and competing out there. If you don’t compete every shift in this league, you’re not winning. Hopefully we learn from it.”

The loss wasn’t the only setback in Vancouver. Defenseman Danny DeKeyser suffered an upper body injury in warmup. He didn’t practice on Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day.

The Flames are coming off a strong 3-1 home win over the Philadelphia Flyers, which snapped a two-game losing skid. Calgary, last season’s Western Conference regular-season champions, have struggled to find the right form this young season and have a middling record to show for it.

That said, they have put together a couple of solid outings, even in a loss to San Jose before beating Philadelphia. The difference against the Flyers was production from the supporting cast.

“We kind of saw ourselves that there wasn’t much scoring from our bottom guys,” said Michael Frolik, who scored in his 800th NHL game. “It’s still the start of the season and some guys need time to settle in. It’s good timing that it happened tonight. Some other guys scored and it’s a good thing. Hockey’s all about confidence and when those other guys score, it’s all about building confidence and getting better. I think tonight was a good effort.”

Coach Bill Peters agreed his team is starting to step in the right direction.

“I liked the way we played in the third period. The start of the period we were getting a lot of chances, had a great chance when it was 2-0. … (Philadelphia goal scorer Matt) Niskanen made a good play in the high slot, but other than that, I don’t think we gave up much.”

Calgary also suffered an injury scare Tuesday. Second-line center Mikael Backlund blocked a shot with his foot and left the game. He did return but didn’t practice Wednesday. Peters said he expects Backlund to suit up against the Red Wings.

Calgary Flames: Media Notes

FLAMES LAST GAME HIGHLIGHTS
OCTOBER 15, 2019 – CALGARY FLAMES [3] vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS [1]
The Flames welcomed the Philadelphia Flyers into the Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday. Calgary would get off to an early lead when Michael Frolik, who was playing in his 800th career NHL games, scored his first of the season just 1:35 into the game. The Flames would get another goal in the second period, this time from Andrew Mangiapane as the Flames would head into the final frame up 2-0. Philly would get one in the third but that Flames would add the empty-netter and go onto win 3-1.
CGY GOAL SCORERS: Frolik (1), Mangiapane (1), Lindholm (4)
GOALIE: David Rittich (21-22, .955 Sv%)
THREE STARS: Michael Frolik, Brian Elliott, David Rittich

FLAMES LAST FIVE RESULTS, RECORD: 2-2-1-0

FLAMES RECENT TRANSACTIONS:
Oct. 1 – assigned Dillon Dube (C), Alan Quine (C), and Zac Rinaldo (LW) to Stockton (AHL)
Oct. 1 – released Andrew MacDonald (D) from his PTO

FLAMES RECENT INJURIES (Total man games lost – 1)
Austin Czarnik: Upper Body (Oct. 5)
Calgary Flames: Media Notes

TONIGHT’S STORYLINES
This is the first of two matchups this season between the Flames and Red Wings. The Flames won both matchups a season ago against the Red Wings, outscoring them 11-to-7. This is a cross-conference matchup; The Flames finished last season with a record of 21-7-4 against Eastern Conference opponents.

FAMILIAR FOES:
The Flames had no problem with the Wings a season ago winning both matchups during the season. Johnny Gaudreau was sensational, notching a goal and four assists against the Red Wings in two games. TJ Brodie (2G, 2A) and Elias Lindholm (1G, 3A) both had four points in the season-series. Calgary also went 5-for-8 (62.5%) on the powerplay a season ago against the Wings and killed off five of the six penalties taken (83.3%). Gaudreau has a career 14 points (4G, 10A) in nine games against the Wings.

BREAD MAN:
Andrew Mangiapane scored his first goal of the season on Tuesday against the Flyers. When Mangiapane scores for the Flames they have a record of 8-0-1 over his career. Mang skated in 44 games a season ago scoring eight goals and adding five assists for 13 points, he also skated in five playoff games scoring the first goal of the playoffs for the Flames.

DOME IS HOME:
The Flames are off to a solid start on home ice in the early going of the season with a record of 2-0-1. The Flames had the third most wins on home-ice in the NHL a season ago with 26. They lead the NHL in goals at home with 166 and had the seventh-best powerplay percentage at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 23.6%. This season, the Flames have already scored nine goals through three games at home and have a top-10 PK at home which sits at 91.7%.

LOOKING AHEAD:
After tonight’s game, the Flames will head back to California for a weekend back-to-back with Los Angeles and Anaheim. That will be the Flames second back-to-back scenario of the season. The Flames will then come back home for two before heading on a seasonlong road trip that sees them playing five games on the road from Oct. 26 to Nov. 3 before returning home.

DID YOU KNOW?
With an assist on Tuesday, Flames Captain, Mark Giordano moved past Gary Suter for the second most assists by a defeceman at home in Calgary Flames franchise history (145). Giordano trails Al MacInnis (179 home assists) for the most. Andrew Mangiapane’s eight even-strength goals post-All-Star break last season was just one less than Connor McDavid and Nathan MacKinnon, the same as Steven Stamkos, and two more than Alex Ovechkin.

Detroit Red Wings: Media Notes

LAST GAME
DET 1 at VAN 5 (10/15/19)
1ST PERIOD: DET Larkin (Mantha, Bertuzzi) 0:30-EV; VAN Stecher (Virtanen, Sutter) 17:58-EV
2ND PERIOD: VAN Edler (Pettersson, Boeser) 1:13-PP; VAN Pettersson (Myers, Boeser) 3:48-EV; VAN Miller (Edler, Boeser) 12:45-
PP
3RD PERIOD: VAN Miller (Pettersson, Edler) 13:23-PP
SHOTS: DET 27 (8-9-10) / VAN 32 (14-10-8)
GOALIES: DET Bernier (L, 27-32) / VAN Demko (W, 26-27)
PP: DET 0-3 / VAN 3-5

MAN GAMES LOST (games missed / out since)
Jonathan Ericsson – Upper Body (6 / Oct. 5)
Danny DeKeyser – Upper Body (1 / Oct. 15)
Total Man Games Lost: 15
Individual Man Games Lost: Trevor Daley (3), Frans Nielsen (3), Andreas Athanasiou (2)

RECENT TRANSACTIONS
10/8 – Assigned LW Ryan Kuffner and D Oliwer Kaski to Grand Rapids…Removed LW Andreas Athanasiou from IR
10/15 – Assigned RW Evgeny Svechnikov to Grand Rapids…Removed C Frans Nielsen and D Trevor Daley from IR

RED WINGS at FLAMES
TONIGHT: 163rd all-time meeting, 83rd in CGY…1st of 2 games this season, only game in CGY
ALL-TIME vs. CGY: 73-70-16-3 / ROAD: 30-44-6-2 / LAST 10: 3-5-2 / IN 2018-19: 0-2-0
DET top scorers vs. CGY: Valtteri Filppula (8-12-20 in 35 GP), Mike Green (2-12-14 in 17 GP), Justin Abdelkader (7-6-13 in 23 GP), Trevor Daley (1-10-11 in 43 GP), Anthony Mantha (5-4-9 in 5 GP)
CGY top scorers vs. DET: Johnny Gaudreau (4-10-14 in 9 GP), Mark Giordano (8-6-14 in 27 GP), Michael Frolik (3-10-13 in 25 GP), TJ Brodie (2-9-11 in 17 GP), Milan Lucic (1-10-11 in 21 GP)

NOTES: DET is looking to snap a 4-game road winless streak (0-2-2) at CGY (last win 1/7/15)…DET F Taro Hirose and D Mike Green hail from Calgary…CGY D T.J. Brodie had 107 points (20-87-107) in 170 games with the Ontario Hockey League’s Saginaw Spirit from 2006-10…CGY has 3 players who previously skated for the U.S. NTDP in Ann Arbor/Plymouth: F Austin Czarnik (2008-10), F Matthew Tkachuk (2013-15) and D Noah Hanifin (2013-14). Czarnik is also a native of Washington Township, MI…CGY F Derek Ryan made his pro hockey debut with the UHL’s Kalamazoo Wings in 2006-07…CGY head coach Bill Peters previously served as an assistant coach for DET from 2011-14, including the 2011-12 season alongside DET head coach Jeff Blashill.

RECENT RECAPS
Oct. 15 at VAN – 5-1 L
Dylan Larkin scored DET’s lone goal 30 seconds into the game, marking the fastest goal of his career to start a game and the fastest to open any game since Tyler Bertuzzi scored on 1/12/19 at MIN…Alex Biega made his DET debut and logged 16:38 TOI along with a game-high (tied) 4 shots…Trevor Daley and Frans Nielsen each returned to DET’s lineup after each missing the team’s last 3 games due to injury.

Oct. 12 vs. TOR – 5-2 L
Jacob de la Rose opened the scoring for DET, giving him points in back-to-back games and breaking a 34-game goal drought (1/2/19 vs. CGY) and later assisted on Darren Helm’s goal, marking his 5th career multi-point game (previously 3/6/18 with MTL) and 1st with DET…Helm has scored in back-to-back games for the 1st time since 4/3/18-4/6/18 and passed Marty Pavelich for 25th place in DET history in games played by skating in his 634th game…The 1st of Justin Abdelkader’s 2 assists marked his 250th career point… Patrik Nemeth recorded his 1st point with DET.

FANTASTIC FOUR
Anthony Mantha was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week last Monday after racking up 7 points (5-2-7) in his first 2 games, including a 4-goal game on Oct. 6 vs. DAL. The 4-goal output represented a long list of accolades:
* 2nd career hat trick and 2nd in his last 6 regular-season games (3/31/19 vs. BOS)
* 1st natural hat trick for DET since Henrik Zetterberg (3/19/08 vs. CBJ)
* 1st 4-goal game for DET since Johan Franzen’s 5-goal game (2/2/11 at OTT)
* 1st 4-goal game for DET at home since Brendan Shanahan (3/15/01 vs. CGY)
* Give him the 3rd-most points in franchise history in DET’s first 2 games of a season behind Carl Liscombe (3-6-9 in 1942-43) and Syd Howe (2-6-8 in 1944-45)
* 6th player in franchise history to have a hat trick in a home opener (and 2nd to score 4), and the 3rd to do so in the last 5 years: Mike Green (2016), Justin Abdelkader (2015), Brendan Shanahan (1998), Adam Brown (1945) and John Sorrell (who had 4 in 1933)
* 1st player to score all of DET’s goals in a win with more than 4 goals scored since Sergei Fedorov (all 5 goals in a 5-4 OTW on 12/26/96 vs. WSH)
Mantha is the 10th player in DET history to score 6-or-more goals in the team’s first 5 games, and the 20th to score 5-or-more:
PLAYER SEASON GP G A P
Mud Bruneteau 1943-44 5 8 2 10
Paul Henderson 1966-67 5 8 1 9
Brendan Shanahan 2001-02 5 7 3 10
Mickey Redmond 1974-75 5 7 2 9
Ed Litzenberger 1961-62 5 6 3 9
Sergei Fedorov 1993-94 5 6 3 9
John Sorrell 1933-34 5 6 2 8
Anthony Mantha 2019-20 5 6 2 8
Gerard Gallant 1989-90 5 6 1 7
Brendan Shanahan 1998-99 5 6 1 7
Mud Bruneteau 1944-45 5 5 5 10
Petr Klima 1986-87 5 5 4 9
Gordie Howe 1955-56 5 5 4 9
Mud Bruneteau 1942-43 5 5 4 9
Steve Yzerman 1988-89 5 5 3 8
Harry Watson 1942-43 5 5 2 7
Ray Sheppard 1994-95 5 5 2 7
Jimmy Conacher 1947-48 5 5 1 6
Jud McAtee 1944-45 5 5 1 6
Tomas Holmstrom 2008-09 5 5 0 5

LEADING THE CHARGE
Dating back to the final 8 games of 2018-19, DET’s top line ranks among the highest scoring players in the NHL. Below is a list of the NHL’s top regular-season scorers from 3/23/19 to now:

A WINNING TRADITION IN HOCKEYTOWN
Since Mike and Marian Ilitch purchased DET in 1982, DET has won a combined 1,655 regular season and playoff games, more than any other franchise. DET has won an NHL-best 1,173 games since 1995-96, with 1,028 regular-season and 145 playoff victories.