Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Trevor Lewis of the Calgary Flames crashes the crease against Olli Maatta and goaltender Magnus Hellberg of the Detroit Red Wings in the third period at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Red Wings won 5-2 on Feb. 16, 2022, in Calgary.Leah Hennel/Getty Images

It’s been an injury-riddled season for Tyler Bertuzzi but the Detroit Red Wings right-winger is healthy again and looked in vintage form Thursday night.

Bertuzzi had a goal and two assists, Dominik Kubalik scored twice and the Detroit Red Wings made it a season-high five straight wins with a 5-2 victory over the Calgary Flames. The 27-year-old Bertuzzi has missed 31 games due to injury this season.

“You could see frustration in his game,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “He misses half of camp, plays a game and a half [then] breaks his hand [and is] out six weeks. Comes back for a few weeks and breaks his hand again. Battles a lower-body [injury].

“He just hasn’t been able to get any rhythm in his game.”

But the old Bertuzzi appeared to be back. Coming off a career-best 30 goals and 62 points last season, he was the difference maker Thursday.

Tied 2-2 in the second period, Kubalik scored his second at 15:21 thanks to some hard work behind the goal from Bertuzzi.

Battling Nazem Kadri for a loose puck, Bertuzzi sent the puck into the slot as he got clipped in the face by Kadri’s stick. While Bertuzzi was down and grabbing his face behind the net, Dylan Larkin zipped a cross-ice pass to Kubalik who fired it past Flames netminder Dan Vladar.

“[Bertuzzi] throws his body in front of the line all the time,” said Detroit goaltender Magnus Hellberg, who had 33 stops.

“He’s such a great guy. He’s blocking shots. He’s playing tough. Making nice plays. Feels like he can do everything.”

Bertuzzi made it 4-2 just over three minutes later on the man advantage when he neatly steered in Robby Fabbri’s centring pass for his third goal of the season.

“The break was the best for him. He got healthy,” Lalonde said. “Now he’s winning those second battles. That’s a good sign for us.”

Fabbri and Pius Suter also scored for Detroit (26-20-8), which moved within two points of the Washington Capitals and the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Red Wings also hold three games in hand.

Larkin had three assists to extend his point streak to six games (six goals, six assists).

“It’s a great feeling,” said veteran Red Wings winger David Perron, who had one assist for his 700th point. “Everything’s starting to click. Everyone’s starting to find their role. It’s a good feeling to string wins together right now.

“I think the challenge as we go here is to keep pushing. We don’t want to stop here.”

Elias Lindholm and Dillon Dube replied for Calgary (25-19-11). The loss knocked the Flames out of the final wild-card spot in the Western Conference, which now belongs to the Minnesota Wild.

“We’ve been a roller-coaster all year,” said Flames defenceman Chris Tanev. “Good one game, suck the next. Good one game, suck the next. That’s on the leaders in here.”

The five goals allowed by Vladar came on just 24 shots. On the heels of a 13-game points streak (10-0-3), Vladar has lost back-to-back starts in regulation with both coming against Detroit.

“Certainly didn’t give us an opportunity to win, did it?” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter, when asked about his team’s goaltending.

Calgary opened the scoring on Lindholm’s short-handed goal at 15:22 of the first period that was set up by Mikael Backlund.

The Flames only lead of the night was short-lived with Detroit tying it at 18:59 when Kubalik’s shot partially deflected off the glove of Flames defenceman Michael Stone.

“Wasn’t good enough,” Backlund said of his team’s listless effort. “The jump and the juice wasn’t there. The way we want to play and the way we know we can play.”

Stone also factored into Detroit going ahead 2-1 as his cross-checking penalty at 2:14 of the second put the Red Wings on the power play. Fabbri picked the top corner after a setup from Larkin 13 seconds later.

“It’s the best time of the year. You want to be in a playoff spot, you want to play meaningful games, you want to battle and we should be coming out with more energy,” Backlund said.

Andersson returns

Calgary welcomed back defenceman Rasmus Andersson to the lineup. The team’s leader in average ice time (24:40) missed three games after he was struck by a car while riding a scooter to dinner a week back when the club was visiting Detroit.

Power trip

Detroit’s power play was sizzling again Thursday. A perfect 3-for-3 over the previous two games, the Red Wings went an efficient 2-for-4 on the man advantage.

Up next

Flames: Play host to the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Red Wings: Will try for a perfect road trip when they wrap up their four-game excursion out West in Seattle on Saturday.

Follow related authors and topics

Authors and topics you follow will be added to your personal news feed in Following.

Interact with The Globe