Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Game 3: @ Calgary, 9:00 ET

Tonight is the third game in this Western Conference Semifinals series between the Wings and the Flames. Calgary stole Game 1 in overtime 2-1 in front of a stunned Joe Louis Arena crowd last Thursday but the Wings answered back with a dominating 5-2 win in Game 2 on Saturday. The Wings have outplayed the Flames by a wide margin for most of the first two games but tonight they will have a much tougher time keeping that up because, although the Flames have not be all that impressive so far in this series, they started coming on towards the end of the third period of Game 2. If that's how they come out tonight, the Wings will be hard pressed to take command of the game early. They will have to face playing in front of an extremely hostile crowd tonight and still come out with a jump of their own. The first goal in this game will be absolutely huge and the team that plays with the most composure will have the best chance of winning. It will be very hard for the Wings to control Jarome Iginla to the same extent they have been able to in the first two games because the Flames will have the last line change. Dave Lewis will really have to be smart in making sure he has the right lines out there at the right time because tonight is not the night to let Iginla break out. Lewis said he will not make any lineup changes but he will mix up the lines and make some appropriate adjustments. The Wings don't have to do anything huge since they have a number of players who can deal with Iginla but they'll need to be careful. The Flames allowed five goals in Round 1 to Vancouver twice and rebounded each time with one goal wins, most notably their 3-2 Game 7 overtime win. The Wings need to win this game tonight and take command of the series. They looked good in Game 2 but tonight we'll see whether that was for real or not.


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