FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1 Smith stays home Flames stalwart mike smith, one of the nHL’s busiest backstops so far this season, was injured in the opening period of monday’s clash with the st. Louis blues and although there’s be no official word on the specifics or the severity, the 35-year-old wasn’t on Tuesday’s flight to the motor City. In smith’s absence, eddie Lack would become the go-to goalie for the Flames, while either Jon Gillies or david rittich — with four periods of nHL experience between them — would be recalled from the american Hockey League’s stockton Heat to serve as backup. 2 Go Johnny go! The Flames are — finally! — getting some production from their depth sorts, with all four forward lines contributing in a 7-4 triumph over the blues. What hasn’t changed is that Johnny Gaudreau continues to do his part, and then some. Gaudreau buried one and set up another against the blues. With 24 points, he’s been a factor on nearly half of the 49 goals that the Flames have scored this fall and his crew owns a 7-0 record when Lucky no. 13 delivers a multi-point performance. 3 You guys again?! These squads are facing off for the second time in a week, with the Flames aiming to complete a season sweep against this eastern Conference foe after a
6-3 victory last Thursday at saddledome. Gaudreau’s three-point effort that night was highlighted by a sweet feed on Jaromir Jagr’s first snipe in Flames silks, while Jagr earned an assist on mark Jankowski’s first big-league goal. on the other side, anthony mantha was in on all three red Wings’ tallies. 4 Happy trails a carry-on tote won’t cut it — the Flames will need their full-sized suitcases for this sojourn. detroit is the first destination on a marathon six-game trek. before heading home, they will stop in Philadelphia, Washington, Columbus, dallas and denver. Wednesday also marks the Flames’ first visit to Little Caesars arena, the shiny new home of the red Wings and the nba’s detroit Pistons. 5 Wait, there’s more...
red Wings LW darren Helm has missed a pair of practices this week and is considered questionable for Wednesday’s contest … red Wings rW Justin abdelkader returns to action after a one-game absence, but he’ll be sporting extra facial protection after suffering a fractured cheek-bone in his scrap with Flames rW Troy brouwer … The Flames have won three in a row and five of their past six against the Wings.
Johnny Gaudreau has been on a tear since the beginning of the season.