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Photo Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

GAME DAY: Wings host winless Flames in search of third consecutive victory

The Detroit Red Wings and Calgary Flames will meet at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday for their first meeting since Feb. 23, 2020.

In their last matchup, the Flames won 4-2 on the strength of two goals by Andrew Mangiapane. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary; Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi tallied for the Red Wings.

Thursday’s game will be the Flames’ first regular-season contest in the United States since Mar. 1, 2020, when they defeated the Florida Panthers 3-0.

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Detroit will aim to continue its three-game point streak with a win on Thursday. The Red Wings currently own a 2-0-1 record and have won their last two games; the Flames are 0-1-1 and have already allowed eight goals.

The Red Wings

Detroit coach Jeff Blashill went with these lines in Wednesday’s practice:

Tyler BertuzziDylan LarkinLucas Raymond
Robby FabbriPius SuterFilip Zadina
Vladislav NamestnikovMichael RasmussenAdam Erne
Givani SmithMitchell StephensSam Gagner

Danny DeKeyser – Filip Hronek
Nick LeddyMoritz Seider
Marc StaalGustav Lindstrom

Unsurprisingly, it doesn’t look like the Wings will be making any changes after their commanding 4-1 win over Columbus on Tuesday.

Expect Alex Nedeljkovic to get the start in goal for Detroit on Thursday. Thomas Greiss was excellent in his appearances against Vancouver and Columbus but the Wings will want to give Nedeljkovic an opportunity to get on track against a struggling opponent.

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The Flames

Calgary lost its first two games of the 2021–22 season, falling 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 16 before losing 3-2 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks two nights later.

The Flames practiced Wednesday using these lines:

Johnny GaudreauElias LindholmMatthew Tkachuk
Blake ColemanMikael BacklundTyler Pitlick
Andrew MangiapaneDillon DubeBrett Ritchie
Milan LucicSean MonahanTrevor Lewis

Noah HanifinMichael Stone
Oliver KylingtonChris Tanev
Juuso ValimakiErik Gudbranson

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Expect Rasmus Andersson and Nikita Zadorov to dress Thursday in place of Stone and Kylington. Jacob Markstrom will likely start for the Flames.

Players to watch

Detroit: Who among us would have predicted Tyler Bertuzzi would be the NHL’s early goal-scoring leader? The 26-year-old winger is currently tied with Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar for the league lead with five goals in three games. Bertuzzi will face a Canadian opponent for the second time of 2021–22 on Thursday; of course, owing to his unvaccinated status, he’ll only be able to play against the NHL’s seven international opponents inside the friendly confines of Little Caesars Arena.

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Calgary: The Flames need more out of Sean Monahan. The 27-year-old center has yet to score his first point of the 2021–22 season; last year, he managed just 10 goals and 18 assists in 50 games. Monahan has dealt with a ton of injuries and has undergone at least six surgeries over the course of his nine-season NHL career. In 593 games with the Flames, Monahan has 204 goals and 439 points.

Scoring leaders

Calgary: Elias Lindholm (two goals, two points); Johnny Gaudreau (zero goals, two points); Rasmus Andersson (zero goals, two points); Blake Coleman (one goal, one point); Andrew Mangiapane (one goal, one point); Matthew Tkachuk (zero goals, one point).

Detroit: Tyler Bertuzzi (five goals, six points); Vladislav Namestnikov (two goals, three points); Dylan Larkin (one goal, three points); Adam Erne (one goal, three points); Robby Fabbri (one goal, three points); Lucas Raymond (one goal, three points).

Viewing and listening options

Thursday’s Wings/Flames game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit and, for Calgary viewers, Sportsnet West. It’ll be sent over the airwaves on WXVT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” in the Detroit area, as well as on the Red Wings’ official website.