Detroit — This time the Red Wings didn’t let a tired team off the hook.
The Red Wings pressured Calgary most of the evening on Sunday, didn’t let a third period slip away, and defeated the Calgary Flames 4-2.
The victory ended a three-game winless streak for the Red Wings (0-1-2), which included Friday’s disappointing shootout loss to a Vancouver team that was playing its third road game in four nights.
Calgary (15-16-2) was doing the same, even playing its fourth in six days over this road trip.
But the Red Wings (17-9-7) roared back with three consecutive goals after falling behind 1-0 early in the second period.
“Our second period was the way we have to play hockey to be successful,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “We did a real good job of getting the puck in behind (them), getting on the forecheck and creating turnovers, and spending time in the offensive zone.
“When I look back, when we’ve been a real good-to-great hockey team, is when we’ve had a lot of time in the offensive zone.”
Calgary did cut the Red Wings lead to 3-2 on Dougie Hamilton’s fifth goal at 17:01 of the third period.
But Justin Abdelkader’s empty-net goal, his 11th goal, clinched the victory with 30 seconds left.
“We wanted to come out better than the last game and we did,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “Overall I felt we played a good game. It got a little tight there at the end, but it was nice when Abby got that empty-netter.”
Dylan Larkin and Brad Richards scored goals 45 seconds apart midway in the second period and Gustav Nyquist capped the flurry, giving the Red Wings a lead they wouldn’t lose.
The goals were with the 12th for both Larkin and Nyquist, tops on the Red Wings.
Goaltender Petr Mrazek stopped 26 shots for his 10th victory (10-5-3).
“Huge two points,” Mrazek said. “We knew they’d come out hard, they’ve played some good games (Calgary had a seven-game win streak until losing Saturday in St. Louis). They played (Saturday) so we tried to jump on them and play for 60 minutes.”
Dennis Wideman (power play) had the other Flames goal.
The Red Wings moved into third place in the Atlantic Division, just two points behind Montreal for the division lead and one point behind second-place Boston. Florida, winners of four consecutive games, is one point behind the Wings.
The Red Wings have taken advantage of a stretch in which they’ve gone 6-1-3 over a span of 10 of 12 games at Joe Louis Arena.
“We’ve had a large stretch at home and you want to make your road easier, than harder,” Blashill said. “But you want to win every game. I feel real confident we can go on the road and win.
“That said, the building has been rocking and the fans have been great.”
After a scoreless first period in which the Flames outshot the Red Wings 15-13, both teams got going offensively in the middle 20 minutes.
Wideman put the Flames ahead 1-0 with his first goal of the season, a power-play goal for the NHL’s 30th-ranked power play.
But the Red Wings answered with a flourish the remainder of the second period.
Larkin tied the game 1-1 with his 12th goal, ending a five-game goal-scoring drought.
Larkin intercepted a Flames clearing attempt, the puck came to Brendan Smith at the point, and Larkin was right there at the crease to put back a rebound that Flames goalie Karri Ramo generously left near his side at 7:46.
Richards scored 44 seconds later. Richards found himself all alone in the slot as the puck came to him out of the corner — Zetterberg created a turnover — and Richards one-timed a shot past Ramo.
“I came off the bench and didn’t see what happened,” Richards said. “But I was just happy to see the puck in the middle of the ice with no one around and going slow enough where I could step into it.”
With the Red Wings assuming control Nyquist made it a 3-1 game at 17:31 of the second period, blasting a shot through a screen in front of Ramo.