CALGARY, Alberta -- The Detroit Red Wings fired a season-low 22 shots on goal. The most harmless one turned out to be the back-breaker.
Joakim Andersson's shot from the corner bounced off the toe of Tomas Tatar's skate for a crucial goal as the Red Wings scratched out a 4-3 victory Friday over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"It was a lucky bounce," Andersson said. "Sometimes, you need lucky bounces to win games, and it was nice to get it."
Superstar linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg also scored for the Wings (8-4-2), while Justin Abdelkader added a late insurance marker that turned out to be the game-winner after the Flames celebrated an ugly one of their own with just 10 seconds to go.
Chris Butler, Sean Monahan and Curtis Glencross scored the goals for the Flames (5-6-2).
In the aftermath, Andersson wasn't the only guy describing Tatar's tally at the 1:25 mark of the third period as 'lucky.' In the other room, Flames netminder Joey MacDonald was saying the exact same thing.
"I make a mistake, it goes in the net," MacDonald said. "Guys make mistakes all the time and no one sees it, but once a goalie makes a mistake, it always ends up in the net."
Although the hosts had the best early opportunities, Datsyuk opened the scoring for the Red Wings, grabbing a rebound in the slot area and taking advantage of a screen by Todd Bertuzzi on what was only Detroit's fourth shot of the night at the 10:57 mark of the opening period.
Bertuzzi was key to the next goal, too. Zetterberg was parked at the post all by himself and had a tap-in for his team-leading seventh goal of the season after a nifty cross-ice feed from Bertuzzi, who finished with a pair of assists.
The Flames limited the Wings to just six shots in 30 minutes of action before Butler finally put the home side on the scoreboard, watching his shot change directions off the stick of Andersson and fool Detroit's netminder Jimmy Howard.
Just 2:32 later, Monahan zipped a wrist-shot into the top corner to even it up. Flames left-winger Michael Cammalleri earned an assist on the play, the 250th helper of his NHL career.
The Flames had all the momentum heading into the final frame, but that changed just after the intermission with Tatar's goal that gave the Red Wings the lead and quieted the crowd.
Many headed for the exits after Abdelkader's top-shelf tally with 3:24 remaining, missing Glencross' goal from behind the net as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The Flames have now lost six of their past eight contests. The Red Wings have won back-to-back games, although head coach Mike Babcock wasn't completely satisfied with the performance in Calgary.
"I didn't like our second period. I thought we got back to being what we've been sometimes this year, which is unacceptable and un-Red Wing like," Babcock said. "We've got to learn to play and play consistently and do it each and every night."
Howard made 22 stops for the Wings in a winning effort.
MacDonald, making his first start against his old squad since being claimed on waivers from the Red Wings in February, finished with 18 saves. He made a couple of key stops to keep it close in the third period, but the Flames couldn't recover from Tatar's goal.
"Unfortunately that will happen," said Flames head coach Bob Hartley. "Joey Mac bailed us out many times since the start of the season. It's too bad. He feels awful. You never want to see those goals in a 2-2 game, especially when you came back, but it can happen."
The Red Wings are off to Edmonton for Saturday's clash with the Oilers, while the Flames now embark on a four-game road-trip that starts Sunday in Chicago against the Blackhawks.
NOTES: The Flames wore their new third jersey for the first time. The red silks feature the word 'Calgary' and the Flaming C logo on the front, plus a brand-new shoulder patch ... After missing one game due to an upper-body injury, Red Wings C Johan Franzen returned to action against the Flames but left early in the third period due to an illness. The Wings are optimistic W Darren Helm (back) could be good to go for Saturday's game in Edmonton ... C Mikael Backlund was back in Calgary's lineup after being a healthy scratch in Wednesday's loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, taking RW Tim Jackman's spot ... With G Jonas Gustavsson bothered by a neck injury, the Red Wings recalled Petr Mrazek from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins ... The Flames summoned D Chad Billins from the AHL's Abbotsford Heat, with D Chris Breen (abdominal) and RW Lee Stempniak (foot) both moved to injured reserve ... The Red Wings announced Friday that RW Zach Nastasiuk, their second-round selection in the 2013 NHL Draft, has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the club.
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