The Detroit Red Wings look to enter their bye week on a three game win streak with a win over the New York Islanders. The Islanders are looking to start their nine game road trip in a positive manner. They enter tonight’s game only two points out of a wild card spot while the Red Wings are eight points out of the wild card.
Islanders get the first real chance as Nick Leddy sends a shot from the point off the post three minutes into the game. Anthony Mantha, Tomas Tatar and Henrik Zetterberg create the first chance for Detroit a minute later, but Mantha’s spinning shot from the slot misses the net.
Nick Jensen makes a very nice play on the back check as he looks to continue his impressive streak of good play. Not much going on in the first 10 minutes of the first period.
Mrazek goes to play the puck behind the net and turns the puck over right to Josh Bailey in the slot who buries it. Islanders 1 - Detroit 0
Somehow with only 3.2 seconds left the Wings are able to score. The puck hits the back of the net with 0.1 seconds left. Frans Nielsen had a beautiful faceoff win to Thomas Vanek who finds Zetterberg for the goal. Islanders 1 - Detroit 1
An even period, but a bad turnover from Mrazek has Detroit tied after one.
Shots: DET 9 - NYI - 8
Score: DET 1 - NYI - 1
Mrazek starts the frame with a few good saves. He is playing well except for his horrible turnover in the first.
Vanek trips an Islander in the offensive zone and the Wings go on a kill with 10:25 left in the second. A pinball shot from the point bounces off Mrazek and then Xavier Ouellet for a power play goal. Islanders 2 - Detroit 1
Two minutes after the goal Helm takes a four minute penalty for high sticking. Nielsen gets a short handed opportunity but is denied by Thomas Greiss. Anders Lee takes a tripping penalty to nullify the last two minutes of the advantage.
Mike Green finds himself open on the 4v4 play and beats Greiss only to be denied by the post. Wings look very lively 4v4.
John Tavares gets the puck in the slot and is able to get Mrazek to drop before he shoots but he reaches out with the paddle of the goal stick to make a fantastic save on the Islanders captain.
The Islanders take a penalty with a 1:56 left in the period as Bailey trips Nielsen in the neutral zone. Tatar hits the post on a sharp angle shot. Jason Chimera continues being a loser and takes a cheap shot at Abdelkader after the whistle when both are tied up by the refs. Of course both get matching penalties.
Period ends with the Islanders still in the lead.
Shots: DET - 21 NYI - 19
Score: DET - 1 NYI - 2
Red Wings get the first few chances of the third. Greiss looks sharp, holding onto pucks and knocking away centering passes.
Bailey gets Brendan Smith to bite on a shot fake and finds Tavares in the slot for the goal. Islanders 3 - Detroit 1. Blashill challenges a possible offsides but nothing comes of it. Good goal.
The Red Wings get a power play opportunity as Lee knocks over Mrazek with 11:47 left, but nothing comes from the advantage.
Tatar, Mantha and Zetterberg keep creating opportunities but are struggling with actually getting pucks to the net.
Mrazek goes to the bench with 2:30 remaining. The Wings have a hard time establishing any pressure 6v5 and the game ends.
Shots: DET 27 - NYI - 22
Score: DET 1 - NYI - 3
The Wings played an alright game. Unfortunately, they turned the puck over too much and the Islanders capitalized. Detroit continued to struggle with putting the puck on net and it really limited their opportunities to score.
It has the possibility of being a slow week without Red Wings hockey, but who knows maybe it will be a whole new team that we see in Vancouver. The trade deadline on March 1st should encourage Detroit to sell off some pieces before then, but only time will tell what management thinks is the best path for the Wings.
If you are looking for some ways to fill the time before the next Wings game I have a few recommendations. Watch some college basketball. Michigan and Michigan State are battling it out for a spot in the tournament and it should produce some exciting action. Go Blue and Go Clones! Another option is to listen to Dan Dickerson on the radio. The Tigers have the best radio team in baseball and the start of spring training is always an exciting time. Games are on 97.1 beginning this Friday. If you are looking for something really obscure to pass the time then I recommend some international cricket on ESPN 3. If you are not familiar with the sport I suggest starting with limited overs cricket like T20 (20 overs) or ODI (50 overs). It has a faster pace than test cricket and it is easier to follow and learn the game.
Some non-sports ideas. Adopt a dog. They are really fun and I guarantee the week will fly by. If you aren’t ready for a commitment like that then go support a local brewery. The best one I have ever been to is Russian River Brewing in Santa Rosa, CA. So if you find yourself in Northern California go check it out.
Anyways, enjoy the bye week and get ready for some trade deadline action.