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Wings Can't Put Out Flames


The Detroit Red Wings have to get back to basics to recapture their winning ways, captain Steve Yzerman said after Monday night's 5-3 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Derek Morris and Valeri Bure scored two goals apiece to lift the Flames to a victory over the struggling Red Wings -- losers of six of their last eight games.

"We're turning the puck over far too much and giving teams easy opportunities instead of forcing them to create chances," said Yzerman, who scored once in the loss.

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  • "We're forcing the issue, forcing plays and trying to hit home runs and teams are just sitting back and picking off the passes, counter-attacking us and getting scoring chances off the turnovers."

    Calgary took a 4-1 lead early in the second period behind Bure and Morris before the two-time Stanley Cup champion Red Wings made it close. Steve Dubinsky added an empty-net goal to seal the win.

    "We had to play well early on and establish the play," said Flames coach Brian Sutter. "But then we played too easy in the second period."

    Uwe Krupp and Sergei Fedorov also scored for the Red Wings.

    The improving Flames, who finished a six-game homestand with a 3-3 record, thoroughly otplayed the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions.

    Bure opened the scoring at 11:49 of the first period. Yzerman responded a little more than a minute later, but that was the only bright spot for the Red Wings in the early going. Bure scored again before the end of the first.

    Morris, now in his second year with the Flames, made it 3-1 just 35 seconds into the middle period when his hard drive from the blue-line eluded Detroit goalie Chris Osgood.

    The Calgary defenseman notched his second goal of the night when he put a shot past Osgood with the Flames on the power play. That prompted Detroit coach Scotty Bowman to pull Osgood in favor of Norm Maracle.

    Chris Osgood
    Red Wings goalie Chris Osgood took it to Theo Fleury, but the Flames won again. (AP)

    "They were never out of the game, that team always seems to know how to come back," said Morris. "We were pretty fortunate tonight."

    Osgood looked shaky on two of the four goals, especially Bure's second, when the speedy Calgary forward beat Osgood with a low, weak shot from the faceoff circle.

    The goalie change seemed to spark the Wings. Detroit caught a bit of a break on its second goal when Krupp's point shot deflected off Calgary's Cale Hulse and past goalie Tyler Moss at 13:53 of the second

    The Red Wings stepped up their pace after Krupp's goal, mounting several moments of sustained pressure.

    They were finally rewarded when Fedorov, who has been hampered with a shoulder injury, cut around Calgary defenseman Steve Smith and one-handed a shot between Moss's legs.

    Osgood returned to the Detroit net at the start of the third period.

    "We dug ourselves a hole right off the bat," said Krupp. We played pretty well in the second half, but you can't afford to give up early goals.

    "The parity in the league is ... the difference between the best team and worst team I don't think is that much on any given night," he said. "You have
    to play your best night in and night out in order to put together a goodstretch."

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