Detroit does not have enough cap space to call up a minor leaguer, forcing the team to go with a shorter bench.
Tomas Holmstrom and Henrik Zetterberg are also off to slow starts -- Holmstrom has no points and Zetterberg hasn't scored a goal -- but Detroit has managed to overcome all the adversity, avoiding a third straight loss Saturday.
"I didn't like our first period, we weren't competitive enough," coach Mike Babcock said. "We really got competitive in the second and third, and it's a good win for us."
The Flames are coming off an overtime victory of their own, 1-0 at Nashville on Tuesday. Rene Bourque, who sat out the last two games with a concussion, scored his first goal of the season.
"As the game went along, he got better and better," coach Brent Sutter said. "I thought in the last 12 minutes of the third period he really started playing that big man's game where he had the puck a lot on his stick in the offensive zone, and obviously got a big goal for us in overtime."
Brendan Morrison, who leads the team with five points, assisted on Bourque's goal.
Miikka Kiprusoff made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season, lowering his goals-against average to 2.19.
The Flames (3-2-0) have won three of four despite Jarome Iginla going without a point in all but one of five games. Iginla has led Calgary in points in each of the last nine seasons but managed only 69 last season, his lowest total since 2005-06.
Detroit and Calgary, meeting for the first time this season, split four games in 2009-10 with each winning twice on the road.