CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - The Calgary Flames kept Detroit's big guns off the scoresheet. They had no answer for the Red Wings' third line.
Mike Modano and Justin Abdelkader scored second-period goals to lead Detroit to a 2-1 victory over the Flames on Wednesday night.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock liked the effort he received from his third line of Modano, Abdelkader and Dan Cleary.
``I thought Cleary was fantastic in the first (period), I thought Modano was good and then obviously Abby scoring the goal by just being big and physical down low,' Babcock said. ``It gave us four solid lines here tonight.'
Playing in just his second game this season, Abdelkader's first goal stood up as the game-winner.
``It feels great,' said Abdelkader, who missed the first eight games of the season nursing a rib injury. ``I think our line can be successful when we can hang onto pucks, cycle down low (and) bring it to the net. It's going to open up a lot of things.'
The Flames led 1-0 after the first period on a power-play goal by Mark Giordano before the Red Wings rallied for their second straight win and fifth in six games.
The Flames have lost three straight and finished their five-game homestand - their longest of the season - with a 2-3 record.
``We were in a good spot after the first with the lead,' Giordano said. ``They found ways to get ahead.'
After missing the past two games with back spasms, Detroit's Jimmy Howard returned to the lineup and made 16 saves to improve his record to 5-0-1.
``Being off for a week-and-a-half, I felt a little bit off, but for the most part I had a couple of good practices and I felt OK,' Howard said.
Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff made 31 saves.
On Calgary's third power play of the game, Giordano one-timed a pass from Jerome Iginla into the top corner over Howard's glove hand to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period, Modano broke into the Calgary zone and wired a shot into the top corner over Kiprusoff's outstretched glove hand to tie the game.
Later in the period, Abdelkader took a pass from Pavel Datsyuk and fired a shot over Kiprusoff's left pad to give the Red Wings a 2-1 lead.
``The second goal is a bad line change and we allow a three-on-two to happen that turns into a two-on-one and that's another goal,' Calgary coach Brent Sutter said. ``You have a 1-0 hockey game, you've just got to stay with your game, yet we give two odd-man rushes up that cost us goals.
``You can't do that against most teams in the National Hockey League. You're going to get burnt on it and we did tonight.'
Calgary had a great chance to tie the game in the third period when Detroit defenseman Ruslan Salei took a double-minor for high-sticking Niklas Hagman in the face, but the Flames couldn't get anything going on the extended power play and only managed two shots on goal.
``We've got to make plays and that's the bottom line,' said Calgary forward Rene Bourque, who has been held to just two assists in his past four games. ``We had a lot of passes that got intercepted. I threw away pucks a few times myself and that eats up a lot of time. We had four minutes and we had really only one good chance and that's not good enough.'
Notes: The Flames held the lead after the first period for the seventh straight game and their record in those games fell to 3-4. ... The Flames scored the first goal of the game for the eighth straight time. They are 4-4 in those games. ... Heading into the game, the Red Wings had scored at least one power-play goal in every game except their first of the season. They went 0 for 5 with the man advantage against the Flames. ... F David Moss was in the Calgary lineup after missing the first 11 games of the season with a shoulder injury.
The Associated Press News Service
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