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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Detroit Red Wings 1/2/19 (41/82): The Last Visit To Motown Was U-G-L-Y

Calgary will look to avoid the mess that was their last visit to Detroit.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Detroit Red Wings
Nov 15, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Calgary Flames left wing Johnny Gaudreau (13) skates with the puck chased by Detroit Red Wings left wing Andreas Athanasiou (72) in the first period at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Detroit Red Wings, 5 PM MT, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit MI

TV: SNW

Radio: Sportsnet 960

Calgary Flames 24-12-4 (52 pts) - Detroit Red Wings 15-19-7 (37 pts)

NHL Standings

The Flames will hit the road for a four game swing through three Original Six cities with the first being a stop in Detroit on Wednesday night. Calgary jumped back into the win column with a 8-5 dismantling of the San Jose Sharks on Monday night and they did it with all of their tools. The Flames are getting things done with offence, timely saves and a new found “take no BS” attitude that hasn’t been present in, well, forever. Calgary has been throwing the body around lately and there seems to be a scrum after almost every play. The Flames are 6th in the league in penalty minutes with 382. Sam Bennett leads the NHL in PIM with 70 and is second in the league with four Fighting Majors. And while you may think that means this team is a goon squad, they aren’t. They’ve scored the 3rd most goals in the NHL (141), lead the NHL in short-handed goals (12), and David Rittich is 7th in the league in GAA and tied for 11th in Save%.

Then there’s the Red Wings. Detroit is in a free fall, having dropped nine out of their last ten games, including a current five game losing skid. Detroit is only 8-9-4 at home and have dropped five of their last six at their own rink. They have only scored 113 goals this season and their PK is in the bottom 20 so far this year. To make matters worse, they’ve given up the 4th most goals in the league in 2018-19, a robust 135 which is a goal differential of -25. That’s the 5th worst in the NHL.

The Flames have never played well in Detroit, going 28-48-10 all time. They have dropped three of their last five visits to Michigan and no one will forget last season’s visit to Detroit that was a disgrace to the game of hockey. Between the Flames and Wings 131 PIM were handed out, including Luke Witkowski’s game leading 27. Lost in all that was Detroit manhandling the Flames by a score of 8-2.

Starting Goalies

Flames: Rittich (E)- 13-4-3, 2.39 GAA, .920 Save%

Red Wings: Howard (E)- 10-9-5, 2.72 GAA, .920 Save%

Team Leaders

Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (21), Points: Gaudreau (55), PIM- Bennett (70), Save%- Rittich (.920)

Red Wings: Goals- Larkin (17), Points- Larkin (39), PIM- Larkin (37), Save%- Howard (.920)

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Detroit Red Wings Coverage: Winging It In Motown

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 8 - San Jose Sharks 5

Detroit Red Wings 3 - Florida Panthers 4 (SO)

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Winnipeg Jets James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports

Matthew Tkachuk (F): 18G - 28A, 6 points in last 5 games

Detroit Red Wings

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Larkin (C): 17G - 22A, 5 points in last 5 games