Datsyuk gets assists on both Wings goals


CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Pavel Datsyuk and Manny Legace have
exceeded most people's expectations this season.

Thursday night in Calgary, they were at it again, combining
forces to knock off the Flames.

Datsyuk set up both Detroit goals, including Steve Thomas'
winner late in the second period. Legace made 33 saves in the Red
Wings' 2-1 victory over the Flames.

"Pav's one of those special players," said Legace. "Losing
Sergei (Fedorov), he has filled that hole right away.

"We knew he had it in him, we just didn't realize that with him
getting the extra ice time and taking the spot Sergei had, that he
would do as well as he has. He's taken that role and just ran with

Thomas put the Red Wings up 2-0 with the only goal of the middle
period, during which Detroit was outshot 14-5.

Datsyuk started the play by neatly stripping the puck from
Flames rookie Matthew Lombardi as he skated out of his end. He then
sent a backhand pass to the front of the net. Brett Hull slid the
puck over to Thomas, who one-timed it past goaltender Miikka

"When (Datsyuk) is back-checking, he's kind of stealth," said
Hull. "He just picked his pocket from behind, I don't even think
he knew he was there."

Ray Whitney scored the other goal for Detroit, which concluded a
three-game Western Canada road trip with a 1-1-1 record. The Wings
were missing defenseman Chris Chelios, hurt Tuesday in Vancouver.

Chuck Kobasew scored the lone goal for Calgary, which lost for
the fourth time in five games to drop into seventh in the Western
Conference. They Flames are tied at 70 points with the Los Angeles
Kings, with St. Louis two points back in ninth.

The Flames came on strong in the third period, when Kobasew's
hard slap shot at 12:09 made it 2-1. But they could not get the
tying goal.

"We have to bear down and play our game like we did in the
third period for the full 60 minutes," said Lombardi. "We have to
come out stronger knowing that every game is a playoff game for

With Dominik Hasek (groin) gone for the season and Curtis Joseph
(ankle) also out, Legace continues to shoulder the load in net.
Legace has started seven of the last eight games, winning five. On
the season, he's 15-7-4.

"Manny's stood in there when we had a little adversity and has
been able to keep us in hockey games, and for the most part win
some hockey games for us," Thomas said. "Kudos to him, he's
really done a good job."

With the Flames storming the Red Wings' end most of the third
period, Legace had a close-up look at one of the NHL's most
surprising teams. He was impressed.<

"They came out solid in the third and ran us around, a credit
to their side," said Legace. "They didn't give up down two goals
and they've been doing that for the last three months."<

Detroit opened the scoring when Denis Gauthier and Stephane
Yelle couldn't connect on a pass in the Flames' end. Datsyuk got
the loose puck near the blue line, fed a pass in front to Henrik
Zetterberg, who in turn set up Whitney at the side of the net.

Kiprusoff made 20 saves in dropping to 15-6-2. He's given up two
or fewer goals in 21 of his 23 starts. <

^Notes@: Calgary C Steven Reinprecht missed the game with the
flu. ... Detroit recalled D Anders Myrvold from Grand Rapids (AHL)
and he made his season debut in place of Chelios. ... Newly
acquired LW Ville Nieminen made his debut for Calgary on a line
with C Dean McAmmond and RW Shean Donovan. ... The next game for
Detroit D Nicklas Lidstrom will be the 1,000th of his NHL career,
all with the Red Wings.<