CALGARY – It was a forgettable night for Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood.
Mike Cammalleri scored and added two assists Monday night as the Calgary Flames took advantage of a shaky outing from Osgood in a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Osgood entered the game red-hot, having been in net for each of Detroit’s victories in a four-game winning streak. However, the 36-year-old veteran was gone early Monday, getting the hook after surrendering three goals on 14 shots.
“By far that was my worst game in this building,” said Osgood, who was pulled by coach Mike Babcock six minutes into the second period. “It wasn’t that I didn’t feel good, I love playing in Calgary, I always feel good here, but it just didn’t happen for me tonight”.
The only goal of the first period came at 10:57 when Dion Phaneuf’s harmless looking snapshot from just over the blue-line beat Osgood on his glove side.
As unusual as it was to see Osgood surrender a goal from over 50 feet out, the next two goals in the early going of the second period were even more surprising.
At 2:21, Jamie Lundmark sent a wrist shot from deep in the corner towards the net that trickled in off Osgood’s glove, prompting chants of “Os-good, Os-good” from the sell-out Pengrowth Saddledome crowd of 19,289.
They would have more to jeer about at 5:38 when Cammalleri, while skating behind the net, banked a puck off Osgood’s pad and in.
Osgood dismissed the bad outing saying he had “zero” concern about it, even if it came just three weeks prior to the playoffs.
“I don’t think about it when I play great, you just move on and play the next game,” Osgood said. “You guys make too big deal out of these games. If this happens the day before the playoffs, it doesn’t matter. What matters is what happens in the first playoff game.”
Babcock also shrugged it off as just one of those nights.
“If you didn’t have such good history and if you didn’t believe in him, you might think like that but that’s not how I look at it at all,” Babcock said. “He had a tough night but in saying that, he won us the Cup last year, he was great for us. We don’t need him to be first start, we just need him to be regular and he’s very capable of doing that.”
Detroit rallied in the game’s final 10 minutes with goals from Johan Franzen at 10:22 and Jiri Hudler at 13:03, but they couldn’t get the tying goal past Miikka Kiprusoff, who finished with 30 saves including 14 in the final period.
“Something we were trying to do was get the puck on net a lot and try and cause some havoc in front of the net. We got some bounces that went our way so it was nice,” said Cammalleri, whose goal was his team-leading 36th.”
Curtis Glencross and Craig Conroy, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary (43-24-6).
Pavel Datsyuk, with his 30th goal, also scored for Detroit (49-15-9).
The Flames opened up a five-point lead on the idle Vancouver Canucks atop the Northwest Division.
“Now it’s crunch time. We want to just keep winning our games and let these games dwindle down and try to win the division,” said Conroy. “Noboby’s been hotter than Vancouver and we know that but we felt this was a must game, we didn’t want to give them another opportunity like we did against St. Louis.”
After Calgary lost 3-2 to St. Louis on Friday night, Vancouver blew an opportunity to gain ground losing 5-1 Saturday night in Phoenix.
On a night that Osgood had no luck, Kiprusoff appeared to have plenty of it.
Mikael Samuelsson had a breakaway in the second period, and after getting around a sprawled Kiprusoff, his shot hit the post, hit Kiprusoff in the leg, hit the post again then slid along the line before being cleared to safety by Cory Sarich.
In the third period, a point shot from Niklas Kronwall smashed off the end boards and ricocheted off the back of Kiprusoff’s outstretched pad before being covered as it was about to cross the line.
“You’ve got to have some bounces like that if you’re going to win a hockey game,” said Sarich. “We weren’t great in the third. It was a learning experience against a great club. I think we tightened up a little bit. We’re going to have to find a way to take some momentum away from them and get it on our side”.
Notes: Daymond Langkow’s assist on Phaneuf’s goal was his 600th NHL point… Calgary inserted RW David Van der Gulik into the line-up. The rookie was recalled earlier in the day from Quad Cities (AHL), the third time in less than a month he’s been summoned from the minors… Calgary RW David Moss was awarded the 2008-09 Ralph T. Scurfield Humanitarian Award, which goes to the Flames player who exemplifies determination and leadership along with dedication to community service… Detroit is one of five NHL teams that have not had hat-trick yet this season. The others are Colorado, Minnesota, San Jose, and Vancouver.