Well, after a pretty terrible game on Thursday, which snapped our six-game winning streak, the Red Wings look to bounce back and cap the week off with a win before they have a few days off. The Islanders are a massively improved team, with one of the better players in the league in John Tavares. Thankfully, Detroit did not see NYI's starting goalie Jaroslav Halak, who has been having himself a pretty decent season. Let's get on with it, shall we?!
The game started off, both teams moving the puck well, but it didn't take Detroit long to start generating more chances against a collapsing Islanders defense. The Red Wings were granted a power play at 5:17 which was a goalie interference call on Mikhail Grabovski. Not long after the penalty, Tomas Tatar got himself his 22nd goal of the season on a great play by Danny DeKeyser to keep the puck in New York's zone, which was fed to Pavel Datsyuk, which he then passed onto the goal scorer. How Tomas got this puck where he did is beyond me. He threaded it top shelf right up in the left corner of the net. It came about an inch from hitting Darren Helm, but the puck's course did not change. After that goal, Detroit continued to press. Great offensive plays by Luke Glendening in this period. He's got a lot more confidence as of late.. He had two scoring chances on plays where he crashed the net while fighting off a defender on his back. At 17:46, Glenny was charged with interference on Chad Johnson, but Detroit killed the penalty off very well, and the period ended with Detroit up 1-0. Shots are 8-5, in favor of the good guys.
Detroit started the 2nd with an enormous tilt on the ice, in their favor. The Helm-Datsyuk-Tatar line had a handful of masterful shifts stocked with scoring chances, elite cycling, and a couple "how did that not go in" instances. After that, it seems like Detroit fell off their course. They took two penalties, one being a call for too many men, but they were able to throttle the Islanders PP abilities, and keep it notched at 1-0. Right in the final minute of the period, Detroit got themselves on the board again via an absolute laser shot by Brendan Smith. Alexey Marchenko made an extremely smart play to keep the puck in the zone at the blue line, which gave Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco a very good opportunity to feed the puck to Smitty. After 40 minutes, Detroit leads 2-0, shots in favor of the Islanders 14-12.
About five minutes into the third, the Isles got on the board via a power play goal from Lubomir Visnovsky. Personally, I thought Petr Mrazek should have had it, but it didn't take long for Detroit to bounce back. About four minutes later, Jonathan Ericsson scored a goal when he ripped one at the net and it went off Hickey's legs and bounced right by Chad Johnson. Detroit continued to play pretty safe hockey. They got a chance on the power play at 11:21, and it didn't take the Wings long to put this baby away. Gustav Nyquist scores his 20th goal of the season on a feed from Henrik Zetterberg and Niklas Kronwall. This is the first time Detroit has had two 20+ goal scorers since the 2011-2012 season. Not much else happened.. Matt Martin sucker-punched Brendan Smith because he is an ugly demented fart-smoker. But hey, we won. That is good.
Detroit now has a pretty nice break before hitting the road to take on Colorado, and Arizona. They don't play again until Thursday, so this is a great way to bounce back from an ugly loss in Tampa, and an even greater way to leave off before a four day break. No doubt in my mind, if Detroit would have played like this against the Lightning, we definitely might have seen a different outcome in that game. Oh well.. They shook it off, and played a great game today.