NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, December 19th (All times Eastern)
Calgary Flames (13-16-5) at Detroit Red Wings (15-12-9), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Prior to this season, the Detroit Red Wings hadn't lost seven games in a row since the 1990-91 campaign. With a loss in Thursday's home test against the Calgary Flames, however, the Red Wings will have lost seven straight for the second time in a month.
Detroit went 0-2-5 from Nov. 4-19, giving the storied franchise its longest skid since another seven-game drought from Jan. 14-30, 1991. The Red Wings enter tonight's tilt on an 0-4-2 slide and the club has been outscored by a combined 19-7 margin during the losing streak.
The Red Wings have managed a total of three goals in losing their last three games in regulation. The most recent setback came in Tuesday's 5-2 home setback against Anaheim, which dropped Detroit to 0-3-0 on a four-game stay at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings have lost five straight on home ice and are just 5-9-6 in the Motor City this season.
Detroit led 1-0 in Tuesday's game against the Ducks, but Anaheim would hold a 4-1 cushion by the end of the opening period. Jonas Gustavsson turned aside 8- of-11 shots for the Wings before being pulled late in the first period. Petr Mrazek stopped 17-of-19 shots in relief.
"I liked how we started," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "Things were going pretty good for about three minutes. Obviously, it didn't go very well for us. They shot the puck in the net and we lost momentum very fast and didn't have a very good effort from that point on."
Tomas Jurco and Danny Cleary scored for the hobbled Red Wings, who were playing without key forwards Henrik Zetterberg, Justin Abdelkader and Johan Franzen as well as No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard. None of those players are expected to be available for tonight's game either.
The Red Wings have recalled physical forward Jordin Tootoo from their AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids to try and inject energy into the lineup on Thursday. Tootoo has no points and five penalty minutes in eight games with Detroit this season.
Detroit hopes to get back on track tonight against a Flames team that has won four of the last six encounters in this series. However, the Red Wings have won eight of 13 overall in this matchup and have claimed three of the past five meetings in Motown.
Calgary enters with a 1-1-1 record so far on a five-game road trip that is set to end Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Flames were dealt a shutout loss in the most recent stop, dropping a 2-0 decision Tuesday in Boston, as Tuukka Rask turned aside all 21 shots sent his way by Calgary.
Reto Berra allowed both goals on 31 shots in the loss for the Flames,.
"We played pretty good and had some chances, but their goalie played really good," said Berra. "We just couldn't get any goals when we had the chance, and they took advantage of their power plays."
Flames forward Mike Cammalleri, who is tied for the team lead with 10 goals this season, was scratched from the lineup on Tuesday due to an illness and is questionable for tonight.
Calgary fell to 7-9-2 on the road this season after Tuesday's setback.
12/19 11:16:28 ET