Jacob Markstrom stopped all 33 shots Detroit took Thursday night in the Calgary Flames’ 3-0 victory over the Red Wings.
Markstrom recorded his ninth career shutout in his 12th season in the NHL. He’d allowed seven goals with an .881 save percentage in Calgary’s first two games, but the rangy goalie had an answer for every challenge in this game.
“Jacob, with the saves he had, slowed the game down for us,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “I think he made important saves at critical times.”
Markstrom said he didn’t like his last outing, “so it was important to have ... a good performance.”
The Flames, who never trailed, took control of the game midway through the second period.
Left wing Johnny Gaudreau set up the first goal by centre Elias Lindholm by backhanding the puck through the skates of Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser. Lindholm received it in front of Alex Nedeljkovic and fired a shot over the goalie’s left shoulder for his third of the season at 10:06.
Calgary defenseman Erik Gudbranson, who assisted on that goal, did it again on Andrew Mangiapane’s goal about four minutes later. Gudbranson blasted a shot on Nedeljkovic, and Mangiapane backhanded the rebound into the net for his second of the season.
“Today, we went to the net,” Mangiapane said. “And that’s where goals are scored, right?”
Matthew Tkachuk added an empty-netter with about two minutes left in the game after Detroit pulled its goalie.
Detroit had scored three, four and six goals in its first three games, but couldn’t get the puck past Markstrom in this one.
“The Wings have been successful and they come out going hot,” Markstrom said. “I was prepared to be a lot better than I was the other night and improve every game. And the (defence) kept the rebounds away from them.”
Sutter noted that the Red Wings hadn’t yet lost in regulation in the young season.
“They have a lot of energy and a lot of speed, and use the building to their advantage,” he said. “But once we got past that, we were pretty good tonight.”
Detroit ended up with a 33-28 advantage in shots. Fourteen of those came in the second period, especially with two power-play opportunities. Defenceman Moritz Seider had one of Detroit’s better chances came when he fired a point-blank shot right into Markstrom’s midsection.
Detroit captain Dylan Larkin credited Markstrom’s performance.
“The whole game felt really choppy. We have to be way sharper, but Calgary played a good road game,” he said. “They hadn’t won yet, so they were desperate.”
In the third period, the Red Wings’ first shot on net didn’t come until nearly eight minutes had passed.
“I thought we created enough chances in the first two period to score, but we didn’t score,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “In the third, they did a good job of finishing a road win. They put the puck in our zone and made us work 200 feet for everything. We didn’t shoot enough pucks.
“We didn’t handle their pressure good enough. When we [had] chances to attack, we didn’t attack. When we [had] chances to make plays, we didn’t make plays, and we turned the puck over too many times when we didn’t need to do that.”
Markstrom was the second-round pick of the Florida Panthers in 2008 and broke in with the Panthers before spending six seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. He joined Calgary last season, and had a career-high three shutouts.
Flames: Play at Washington on Saturday afternoon.
Red Wings: Travel to Montreal on Saturday night.