Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom scored in the first four minutes Sunday and Detroit went on to beat Calgary 3-1, taking a 2-0 lead in their first-round series.
Calgary had five penalties – two of which led to Lidstrom’s goal – in the first 8:13 of the game.
“Getting the power plays early let us get momentum,” Lidstrom said. “It helped tremendously.”
The Flames seemed to unravel in the opening period, getting penalized twice for cross-checking in a two-minute span.
“Our game plan was to be more disciplined and be harder on the puck and not take unnecessary penalties,” Calgary coach Jim Playfair said. “Obviously, that was a problem.”
Game 3 is Tuesday night at Calgary.
The Flames can only hope returning home – where they won an NHL-high 30 games during the regular season – will help them slow the Western Conference’s top-seeded team.
“They’re very good in their building,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We really wanted to take care of our business at home.”
Detroit led 2-0 early in the first period for the second straight game, scoring two goals even quicker than the 8½ minutes it took Thursday night.
“Both games off the start, we spotted them two because of our lack of control,” Flames captain Jarome Iginla said.
Calgary’s Dion Phaneuf scored a power-play goal early in the second period on a shot that was deflected and fluttered past Dominik Hasek’s glove.
The Flames went into the third within a goal because of that key score and Miikka Kiprusoff’s 33 saves through two periods.
Even though Calgary closed in on Detroit, Hasek wasn’t worried.
“We were a better team in the second period,” he said.
Six minutes into the final period, Detroit rookie Valtteri Filppula followed up his goal-scoring debut in the playoffs with a goal off a rebound.
“I’m nervous before the game,” Filppula said. “But as soon as the game starts, it goes away.”
Filppula scored again despite playing just 7½ minutes.
“He probably wonders why the coach doesn’t play him more,” Babcock said. “The coach wonders why, too.”
Hasek needed to make only 14 saves after making just 19 in Game 1.
At the other end, the Red Wings kept Kiprusoff busy – again.
Kiprusoff turned away 21 shots in the first period alone and finished with 48 saves. He faced 46 shots in the series opener.
“We’re just being dumb out there,” Calgary’s Alex Tanguay said. “You’ve got to work smart, especially against a team like this that has so many skills and so much talent.
“We’re allowing 50 shots a game and you’re not going to win any games allowing 50 shots.”
Perhaps the only difference between the first period of Games 1 and 2 was that the Flames landed the first big hit.
Calgary centre Stephane Yelle knocked down Kirk Maltby on his first shift, but the Flames lost any momentum they had 1:02 into the game when Datsyuk’s wrist shot went over Kiprusoff’s blocker.
The Red Wings had a 5-on-3 advantage a couple minutes later and capitalized when Mathieu Schneider knocked down a clearing attempt and set up Lidstrom for his second goal of the series.
“He kept the puck in and really created that goal,” Lidstrom said.
Detroit outshot Calgary 23-8 in the first period and 12-3 in the second, but led by only a goal.
After Kiprusoff kicked away a shot from the right circle – Detroit’s 39th – he couldn’t stop Filppula’s slapshot from the left circle.
“I was kind of battling for the puck and luckily, I was able to get first to the puck,” Filppula said.
Iginla, shadowed by Lidstrom, has no points and just two shots in the series.
“Shots aren’t easy to come by against them,” Iginla said. “So you’ve got to hit your shots when you have the chances.”
Notes: Calgary D Robyn Regehr (knee) and F Jeff Friesen (torso) were in the lineup after missing Game 1 with injuries, but Regehr didn’t play in the third period because of what the team called a leg injury. “No, he didn’t rush back too soon,” Playfair said. “We’ll get an evaluation on him back in Calgary.” . . . Detroit F Todd Bertuzzi (concussion, neck) was out again, but hopes to play Tuesday night. . . . Datsyuk scored two goals in the first four periods of the series after going 26 playoff games without a goal.