The Macomb Daily
Wings top Flames, extend winning streak
Detroit Red Wings winger Tyler Bertuzzi is healthy again and looks to be in vintage form.
Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists, Dominik Kubalik scored twice and the Detroit Red Wings extended their winning streak to a season-best five games with a 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.
“You could see frustration in his game,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said of Bertuzzi, who has missed 31 games due to injury this season. “He misses half of camp, plays a game and a half (then) breaks his hand (and is) out six weeks. Comes back for a few weeks and breaks his hand again. Battles a lower-body (injury).
“He just hasn’t been able to get any rhythm in his game.”
That is until Thursday. Coming off a career-best 30 goals and 62 points last season, Bertuzzi was the difference maker against Calgary.
Robby Fabbri and Pius Suter also scored for Detroit
(26-20-8), which closed within two points of Washington in the race for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings hold three games in hand. Dylan Larkin had three assists, extending his point streak to six games (six goals, six assists). Magnus Hellberg made 33 saves.
Elias Lindholm and Dillon Dube scored for Calgary (25-19-11). The loss knocked the Flames out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, which now belongs to the Minnesota Wild.
Calgary’s Dan Vladar stopped 19 of 24 shots. On the heels of a 13-game points streak (10-0-3), Vladar has lost back-to-back games in regulation, both against Detroit.
“Certainly didn’t give us an opportunity to win, did it?” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter, when asked about his team’s goaltending.
Tied 2-2 in the second period, Kubalik scored his second at 15:21 after some hard work behind the goal from Bertuzzi. Battling Nazem Kadri for a loose puck, Bertuzzi sent the puck into the slot as he was getting clipped in the face by Kadri’s stick. While Bertuzzi was down and grabbing his face behind the net, Larkin zipped a crossice pass to Kubalik, who fired it past Vladar.
“(Bertuzzi) throws his body in front of the line all the time,” said Hellberg. “He’s such a great guy. He’s blocking shots. He’s playing tough. Making nice plays. Feels like he can do everything.”
Bertuzzi made it 4-2 just over three minutes later on the man advantage when he steered in Fabbri’s centering pass for his third of the season. Bertuzzi’s threepoint game was a season best for the right winger who has been limited to 23 games due to injuries.
“The break was the best for him. He got healthy,” Lalonde said. “Now he’s winning those second battles. That’s a good sign for us.”