Two shorthanded goals help CuJo to first shutout
October 22, 2002
BY HELENE ST. JAMES
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITER
Slap the Red Wings with a penalty and they will score. Grant them a power play and they will score. And should they get a rare stretch at even strength, they'll gladly produce again.
The Wings scored every which way possible in Monday night's game at Joe Louis Arena. Chris Chelios and Kirk Maltby scored shorthanded goals, Tomas Holmstrom converted on a power play, and Darren McCarty scored five-on-five in the Wings' 4-0 victory over the Calgary Flames. Curtis Joseph stopped 24 shots for his first shutout as a Wing.
"Our penalty-killing was unbelievable," Wings coach Dave Lewis said after the Flames went 0-for-9 on power plays. "A lot of guys worked extremely hard to make sure that the puck didn't go in."
The first hint that the game would degenerate into a special-teams duel came after only 1:22 had elapsed. When Brett Hull complained bitterly about a hooking call, he was punished with an additional penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct that left the Wings a man short for 3:14, until Justin Leopold was sent off for hooking Maltby. Chelios tried to make the best of it by launching the puck from the right flank at the end of a two-on-one, and Brendan Shanahan stabbed at an early lead with a quick shot from the left circle.
The Flames had a couple of good chances themselves, notably a wicked shot from the left circle by Jarome Iginla. But Joseph, facing the kind of heavy workload he used to see all the time in Toronto, stopped 12 first-period shots.
He saw considerably less work in the second period, though the penalties continued to mount. But the Flames got a little more tentative after they were burned two times in a row on power plays. Chelios scored his 175th career goal at 2:52.
Next, Nicklas Lidstrom passed to Maltby, who crossed Calgary's blue line and took a few strides before he pulled up and scored his third shorthanded goal of the season. Maltby pump-faked and used the Flames' Chris Drury as a screen to score on Jamie McLennan at 4:20.
"Any time you get shorthanded goals," Lewis said, "it throws the opponent off."
The 2-0 lead lessened the impact of losing checking center Kris Draper a few minutes later. Draper chased defenseman Robyn Regehr into the corner and pushed him into the boards, drawing a five-minute penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct.
Even with one of their best penalty-killers sent to the dressing room, the Wings denied the Flames any satisfaction from spending five minutes up a man.
"They have really good special teams," said Iginla, who scored 52 goals last season. "That's why they're one of the top teams."
Holmstrom scored the only goal on eight Detroit power plays when he backhanded the puck high into the net at 2:55 of the third. McCarty put the game out of reach when he converted a pass from Maltby at 13:33.