Red Wings lose 5-3 to Flames; Howard is named an All-Star
Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau celebrates his goal in the third period Wednesday.
The Red Wings played better than they did in their previous two games, but the result was the same.
Detroit dropped a 5-3 decision to the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night for its sixth straight loss (0-4-2) and 10th loss in the last 11 (1-7-3).
“We found a way to dig ourselves out of a hole like this at the beginning of the season (1-7-2), and we're going to have to do that again,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We have the advantage of knowing we've done it once.”
The Wings were competitive throughout the game and took a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Darren Helm, who returned after missing 21 games with a shoulder injury, and Jacob de la Rose.
But it seemed like it was only a matter of time before the Flames’ potent offense – they are the only NHL team with four players who have at least 45 points this season – burned the Red Wings.
“We were ahead 2-0 after the first period, but I thought we were only even on the ice,” Blashill said.
Calgary’s first line of Johnny Gauderau, Elias Linholm and Sean Monahan did most of the damage. Gaudreau’s power-play goal 9:37 into the third period broke a 3-3 tie and was the game winner. He also had three assists. Linholm registered a goal and two assists and Monahan had a goal and an assist.
“They do a good job of flying the zone and transition quick, as we saw tonight,” said Jimmy Howard, who made 30 saves including stopping Gaudreau twice on breakaways. “They’ve been giving a lot of teams a fit this year.”
Defenseman T.J. Brodie also scored and Michael Frolik added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Brodie’s goal tied the game 2-2, with 2:01 left in the second. His innocent-looking shot from the right point went in off Howard’s glove.
“It comes down to that second goal. It should have never gone in,” Howard said. “So, tonight’s probably on me for us not getting at least a point.”
Andreas Athanasiou scored on a penalty shot with 1:37 left in the second period to restore the lead to 3-2. It was his 14th goal, second in two games and third in four games.
But rookie defenseman Filip Hronek took a charging penalty with 1:08 left in the middle period and it only took Linholm nine seconds to tie the game with a power-play goal.
Gaudreau’s third-period winner also came on the power play.
“One of the things we talked about was special teams,” Niklas Kronwall said. “They had two (power-play goals). It was the difference.”
Howard named an All-Star
The NHL announced its All-Star Rosters on Wednesday night, and Howard is one of the Atlantic Division goalies. The NHL All-Star Weekend is Jan. 24-27 in San Jose.
“It’s fun because you’re representing your team and your organization,” Howard said. “Like I said, this time it’s going to be unique because my boys are at the age where they understand it and they know names on other teams.”
This is the third time Howard has been selected to play in the All-Star Game.
Larkin an All-Star maybe
Dylan Larkin is among the candidates to be voted on in the inaugural NHL All-Star Last Men.
Beginning Thursday at noon, fans can vote on players – one from each NHL team, as determined by the NHL Hockey Operations Department – and the top vote getters from each of the four divisions will join their conference’s team.
The other candidates from the Atlantic Division are Patrice Bergeron (Boston), Jeff Skinner (Buffalo), Aleksander Barkov (Florida), defenseman Shea Weber (Montreal), Mark Stone (Ottawa), Brayden Point (Tampa Bay) and defenseman Morgan Rielly (Toronto).
Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. Jan. 10.
… Larkin’s 14-game point streak (7-11-18) came to an end in Wednesday’s game. It was the longest by a Red Wing since Henrik Zetterberg’s 17-game streak to begin the 2007-08 season.
… Earlier in the day, the Red Wings recalled defenseman Brian Lashoff from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League.