Ferland, Flames look to keep surging against Red Wings (Mar 03, 2017)

CALGARY, Alberta — Micheal Ferland has found a home playing right wing alongside center Sean Monahan and left winger Johnny Gaudreau.

The 24-year-old forward will be looking to keep up his inspired play of late when his Calgary Flames (34-26-4) host the Detroit Red Wings (25-26-10) at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Ferland has scored goals in two straight games and has four in his past five, all wins for the Flames, since being elevated to play on Calgary’s top line.

“I feel really comfortable out there and most importantly, I’m just having a lot of fun,” said Ferland, who has 12 goals in 60 games this season to triple his career high of four that he set last season in 71 outings.

“I’m having a lot of fun coming to the rink right now. The team’s been playing really good. We know how important these games are and we want to just keep trying to get points.”

Although the Flames have given up the first goal in four straight games, they’ve been able to battle back to post important victories and retain their hold on a playoff spot in the NHL’s Western Conference.

“The message is pretty simple: we stick with our game plan and we’re getting wins, we’re getting rewarded, we’re getting points out of a lot of games,” Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. “When we get down and we try to do too much right away and try to score and get back in the game right away, we end up giving more. So, I think our guys have all bought in. We’ve all done a great job and that’s got to be our mindset: 2-1, 3-2, that’s how it’s going to be down the stretch.”

While the Red Wings have won three of their past four games, they’re still mired in last place in the Eastern Conference.

“We have to take it one day at a time and find ways to win,” said left winger Justin Abdelkader after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to give the Red Wings a 3-2 win over the Canucks in Vancouver on Tuesday.

Although Detroit shipped defenseman Brendan Smith to the New York Rangers as well as forwards Steve Ott to the Montreal Canadiens and Thomas Vanek to the Florida Panthers prior to Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline, players refused to say that the Red Wings are giving up on making the playoffs.

“We are finding some chemistry,” Red Wings center Frans Nielsen told the Detroit Free Press, while also stressing that players have to play the right way and not develop bad habits”

The Wings summoned right winger Mitch Callahan from the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins on Wednesday to bring them to 12 forwards for Friday’s game.

The Flames are expected to ice the same lineup they went with on Tuesday at home when they beat the Los Angeles 2-1 in overtime thanks to a goal by defenseman TJ Brodie. Although center Curtis Lazar practiced with his new Calgary teammates on Thursday after being acquired from the Ottawa Senators the previous afternoon, he won’t make his debut with the Flames on Friday.