CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - The Calgary Flames nearly wasted a strong performance by Curtis Glencross.
Glencross scored twice, including the game-winner, to lead the Flames to a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night for Calgary's fifth straight home win.
``We got away from a few things we had in the first two periods in the third period,' Glencross said. ``Detroit's a team with that skill. They can always come back. Three goals for them isn't much.'
Glencross scored the winner at 5:47 of the second period when broke into the Detroit zone on a 2-on-1 with Roman Horak. Instead of passing, Glencross fired a low shot that bounced off the post and in behind Red Wings goalie Ty Conklin to put Calgary up 3-0.
Blake Comeau also scored for the Flames, who won their second straight overall and fifth in a row at home. Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 29 shots.
Jiri Hudler and Ian White scored third-period goals for the Red Wings, who have lost two straight. Conklin finished with 24 saves for Detroit.
``I thought (the Flames) looked great coming out of their zone until the third period, and obviously then we dug in and made the game close,' Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. ``I thought even at the end we had lots of opportunities, but the hockey gods look after the team that plays the longest and they deserved to win, not us.'
Glencross admitted that the Flames were gripping their sticks a little bit tighter in the third period when they were outshot 15-5 by the Red Wings.
``We got off our guard a little bit,' said Glencross, who has scored in three straight games. ``We just had to keep going and play the way we did the first two periods (and) we would've been better off. We got through it and got the two points.'
Hudler broke Kiprusoff's shutout bid at 4:55 of the final period when he cut to the slot through traffic and backhanded a shot past the Calgary goalie.
The Red Wings continued to pour on the pressure and were rewarded when White's point shot deflected off the stick of Calgary forward Tom Kostopoulos and past Kiprusoff with 4:12 remaining.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Detroit forward Henrik Zetterberg rang a shot off the post. Detroit coach Mike Babcock pulled Conklin from the net in favor of an extra attacker in the final minute, but the Flames hung on for the win.
Detroit lost for the second straight night, following a 4-2 defeat at Vancouver on Wednesday night.
``You play back-to-back on the road in the NHL all the time,' Babcock said. ``You've got to dig in and find a way to win. We didn't make the hard decision to do that.'
Tim Jackman had a great chance to open the scoring midway through the opening period when he drove hard down the right wing before shovelling a shot on net that Conklin turned aside with his right pad.
With former Flames star Todd Bertuzzi in the penalty box for hooking, Glencross opened the scoring at 16:10 of the first.
Olli Jokinen took the initial shot that deflected off Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall's stick. Conklin managed to stop the fluttering puck, but Glencross was in the right spot at the side of the net to swat in the rebound and put the Flames up 1-0.
The Flames made it 2-0 early in the second period. Kronwall knocked Jackman to the ice with a heavy hit at the Calgary blue-line, but Jackman got the puck to Brendan Morrison before going down. Morrison set up Comeau and earned his 400th career assist.
``I was pretty happy to see Blake finish that and Morrison make that pass ... after I got rocked pretty good there by Kronwall,' Jackman said.
Late in the second period, Kiprusoff made a nice save with his right pad to stop a shot that was deflected on net by Detroit forward Darren Helm.
NOTES: Rene Bourque served the second of his two-game suspension for his hit last Sunday on Chicago D Brent Seabrook, while fellow Flames F Alex Tangauy missed the game with an undisclosed injury. ... With his assist, Jokinen extended his point-scoring streak to five games (three goals, five assists). ... Detroit starting goalie Jimmy Howard, who has compiled a 20-8-1 record so far this season, got the night off after playing the previous evening in Vancouver. Howard had started the previous eight games for Detroit.
The Associated Press News Service
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