In previous seasons, the Red Wings would build an early cushion in the standings with victories and go from there.

That isn't happening this season.

Playing the struggling Flames on Tuesday, the Red Wings fell behind early and never recovered in a 4-1 loss.

After two victories in which the Red Wings appeared to be rounding into form, they've suffered two consecutive defeats against the two worst teams in the Western Conference while scoring three goals total.

In a shortened 48-game regular season, teams can't afford any sort of losing streaks. And those losses could accumulate for the Wings if they continue to play from behind.

"We have to continue to improve," coach Mike Babcock said. "We had opportunities but didn't capitalize. I didn't think we were terrible. But catch up hockey is losing hockey and you can't start from behind."

Johan Franzen (power play) had the Red Wings goal.

Jarome Iginla, Curtis Glencross (power play), Dennis Wideman and Mark Giaordano (power play) scored to lead the Flames.

For Red Wings fans, the night's highlight might have been Red Wings forward Jordin Tootoo fighting Flames center Steve Begin in the first period.

Tootoo ended up with a bloodied face but earned a loud ovation from the sellout crowd for his fourth fight this season.

From there, the evening was pretty much a downer for the home crowd.

"We couldn't get out of the hole," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "They got that third one (goal) and killed our momentum we had and we couldn't find a way to get it back."

Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff (19 saves) played two periods before leaving with a lower body injury. Leland Irving relieved Kiprusoff and stopped all six shots he faced.

Kiprusoff was great in the first period, robbing Daniel Cleary on consecutive rebounds and Justin Abdelkader in the slot.

From The Detroit News: