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Scrappy but crappy; Islanders three unanswered goals buries Red Wings 3-2

NHL: New York Islanders at Detroit Red Wings Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night hockey in the Motor City — the Red Wings came in taking three points from two of the NHL’s top teams. The New York Islanders came into Saturday night’s tilt losing two games straight. The big news heading into the game is that goaltender Jonathan Bernier would be making a back-to-back start for the first time this season.

What started off as a somewhat boring first period quickly turned to exciting. It started with the first goal of the game, which came off the stick of Justin Abdelkader. It was the continued excellence of Gustav Nyquist and Dylan Larkin that made it all happen:

Not long after that, Martin Frk answered with a second goal, but it was called back due to the play being offsides. Niklas Kronwall was a headline in this first 20 minutes — he ripped a bomb to make it 2-0, and not only that, but it was his 81st career goal which put him at 4th all-time in goals for Red Wings defensemen. No credit to the Islanders, who gave him a year to make the shot:

Kronwall continued to be in the spotlight after he “Kronwalled” Anders Lee. After much deliberation, there was no penalty on the play, but Dylan Larkin got into a tussle with Josh Bailey in the following play. I’ll speak for everyone here in saying that I don’t like seeing Larkin do stuff like this.

The second period was not as kind to the Red Wings. The tides shifted when Casey Cizikas Pulled the Islanders within one just over three minutes in on a chip-in goal, a result of some poor coverage by the backend unit for Detroit. To everyone’s surprise, the game turned chippy, resulting in two fights at the same time. One between Justin Abdelkader and Jonny Boychuk, the other between Brock Nelson and Jonathan Ericsson.

The Red Wings sustained decent pressure in the third period when the game was tied, but it was Matt Martin who had the game-winning goal. Martin found himself in the right place at the right time as the puck redirected off of Cal Clutterbuck’s skate. Detroit had another chance on the power play, and a few good looks with Jonathan Bernier pulled, but it didn’t register a game-tying tally.

It’s important to point out that Detroit pushed hard in the final 20 minutes — holding the Islanders to only three shots. In the end, special teams played a huge role in this tilt. The Islanders tallied once on the man advantage, while the Red Wings were held without a goal over three tries.

The Red Wings now look ahead to a day off before taking on the Los Angeles Kings Monday night at Little Caesars Arena.