The Red Wings are soaring right now, and it might be time to remember how it felt like to be in a playoff race.
The Wings stretched their win streak to a season-high five games Thursday with a 5-2 victory in Calgary.
That’s five straight wins and eight wins in their last 11 games for the Wings (26-20-8, 60 points), who moved to within two points of Washington and Florida of the second wild-card spot (both have 62 after Florida’s 6-3 victory over Washington). The New York Islanders have 61 points.
But the Wings have played four less games than Florida, and three less than Washington and the Islanders, and actually own the wild-card spot if based on win percentage.
Dominik Kubalik had two goals, Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi each had power play goals, and Pius Suter added a goal, while Dylan Larkin had three assists (12 points, six goals and six assists in his last six games), as the Wings rolled to their second consecutive win over Calgary in a week.
That’s three multiple power play goal games in the last five games for the Wings, who also have killed 26 of their last 29 penalties as the special teams have thrived.
BOX SCORE: Red Wings 5, Flames 2
Goaltender Magnus Hellberg made 32 saves for the Wings earning his first win since Dec. 31, while starting his first game since Jan. 27.
Elias Lindholm (shorthanded) and Dillon Dube had Flames (25-19-11) goals, as the Wings swept the three-game road trip in western Canada for the first time since 2013-14.
The turning point in this game occurred late in the second period. Kubalik and Bertuzzi scored goals 3:22 apart and snapped a 2-2 tie.
Kubalik scored his second of the game and 16th of the season, giving the Wings a 3-2 lead. Bertuzzi gained possession of the puck behind the net, fed Larkin near the slot, and Larkin made the extra pass to a wide open Kubalik at 15:21.
Bertuzzi scored his third at 18:43 to give the Wings a 4-2 lead.
A confident Wings’ power play wheeled the puck around until Fabbri found Bertuzzi alone at the front of the crease for an easy tap-in.
The Wings finish the West Coast portion of this five-game trip Saturday in Seattle (10:30 p.m./BSD/97.1).
The Wings welcomed back defenseman Jake Walman to the lineup, after missing the last three games with an upper-body injury. Coach Derek Lalonde kept the forward group intact with the win streak going, keeping recent call up Jakub Vrana a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game.