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Red Wings Head To Calgary To Begin Northwest Roadtrip

(Sports Network) - Fresh off a winning homestand, the Detroit Red Wings hit the road for the first time in over two weeks this evening as they begin a three-game tour of western Canada with a stop in Calgary to take on the Flames.

The Red Wings head to the Saddledome off a 3-1-0 homestand that concluded with Saturday's 5-2 victory over the Predators. Pavel Datsyuk notched a pair of goals and an assist, while Patrick Eaves, Brad Stuart and Tomas Holmstrom each scored as well.

With Jimmy Howard out a second straight game due to back spasms, Chris Osgood made 23 saves as Detroit captured its fourth win in five games.

"It was a good bounce-back game for him," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock about Osgood. "He played well in the second period and held us in there. It's important that he plays real well for us when he gets his chance to start and he did that tonight."

Osgood, though, left Monday's practice with a groin injury that leaves him day-to-day. Howard is expected to return from his injury and start tonight however, while Joey MacDonald will continue to be the backup.

Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson is also slated to return to action tonight in Detroit's first road game since Oct. 16. He has been out since the season- opener due to back spasms.

The Flames finish up a five-game homestand this evening and have dropped two straight on the residency following a three-game win streak. They scored the first two goals of Saturday's meeting with the Capitals, getting tallies from Curtis Glencross and Olli Jokinen, but then allowed three straight power-play goals on the way to a 7-2 setback.

"We actually played a real good first period, as good of a period as we've played all year," Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. "When you put a team like that on a 5-on-3 you're in dangerous territory and they certainly capitalized on it. We took some bad penalties and they nailed us for it."

Miikka Kiprusoff turned aside 21-of-27 shots and was briefly lifted in the second period. However, backup Henrik Karlsson failed to stop the only shot he saw and Kiprusoff returned to the action.

Calgary could have forward David Moss in the lineup for the first time this season as he has been out with a shoulder injury.

The Red Wings picked up a 4-2 home win over the Flames on Oct. 21, their eighth in the last 13 meetings. Howard made 34 saves in that one to even his record to 2-2-0 with a 2.27 goals-against average versus Calgary.

Detroit has won two straight and four of the last six at the Saddledome.

Kiprusoff, who allowed all four goals on 30 shots in the first meeting, is 10-11-1 with a tie and 2.77 GAA when facing the Red Wings.