Preview: Red Wings at Islanders
The New York Islanders look to rebound from a disappointing performance when they return home to the Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday night and take on the NHL-worst Detroit Red Wings. The Islanders had gained at least a point in three straight games (2-0-1) before giving up five consecutive goals in a 6-2 loss at the New York Rangers on Monday, and hope to improve on a 4-1-0 record in the second of back-to-backs this season.
Jordan Eberle and Brock Nelson each had a goal and an assist in the loss while leading scorer Mathew Barzal posted a team-worst minus-4 rating as New York struggled with turnovers, and coach Barry Trotz told reporters his team got what it deserved. The Islanders have won five of the last six meetings with the Red Wings, including a 4-1 triumph on Dec. 2 as Eberle scored twice, and will be facing a team that continues to add players to the injury list that includes top defenseman Danny DeKeyser along with talented forwards Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou among others. No. 1 goalie Jonathan Bernier is likely out until the All-Star break with a lower-body injury that was sustained in Detroit’s 3-2 victory over Ottawa on Friday before struggling Jimmy Howard played in Sunday’s 5-1 loss to Buffalo. “It’s part of sports, it’s part of hockey,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told reporters. “We got to have a mentality as a team, as a coaching staff, of just worrying about who’s available to us. You can’t fret about the injuries. It’s reality.”
TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: FS Detroit, MSG Plus 2
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (12-31-3): Center Dylan Larkin, who is expected to play despite missing practice Monday, is riding a six-game point streak in which he has collected two goals and four assists. Larkin (30 points) is second on the team behind All Star Game-bound forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who recorded three of his 34 points in the last three contests, while defenseman Filip Hornek boasts a career-best 25. Howard (2-15-1, .880 save percentage) owns 246 career victories, but has not won since Oct. 29 and gave up eight goals in two games this month, and Cal Pickard was recalled from AHL Grand Rapids to be his backup.
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (27-13-4): Barzal had three of his 37 points in the previous two games before a rough Monday night, and Nelson scored his 16th goal to move within one of the skillful center for the team lead. Center Casey Cizikas (nine goals, plus-11 rating) left Saturday’s overtime setback against the Bruins with a groin injury and is questionable after missing Monday’s contest, while center Derick Brassard ended a four-game point drought with an assist. Thomas Greiss (12-7-0, .919 SP) made one save in relief of starter Semyon Varlamov on Monday and is expected to get the nod between the pipes against Detroit.
1. New York captain Anders Lee had two points in the victory at Detroit last month and boasts nine of 13 goals at home this season.
2. Detroit F Robby Fabbri has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak to push his season total to 21 points.
3. The Red Wings are 2-for-28 with the man advantage in the last nine games and gave up four power-play tallies in the past three.
PREDICTION: Islanders 4, Red Wings 1