The Red Wings visited Long Island tonight to take on the Islanders. It was the second of back to back games and their third game in four nights for Detroit. Exhaustion was a potential concern, especially after two over time games including last night’s overtime win against Montreal where they struggled to put the Habs away. But the Islanders weren’t exactly firing on all cylinders coming in, having lost 10 of their last 11 games and falling away from playoff contention as a result.
This game featured two clubs struggling to climb back within reaching distance of a wildcard spot. Detroit at least had games in hand to try and close the gap, but they’d have to win games like this to start their climb.
As a result of the Wings schedule, Hellberg got the start tonight playing opposite the Islanders’ Sorokin who is having another typically strong season for the Vezina caliber netminder. One other lineup change for Detroit was Lindstrom taking Oesterle’s place on the bottom pairing. Another late change was Erne taking Sundqvist’s place on the 4th line.
As the Wings continued their dad’s trip this week, they were hoping to keep the momentum rolling against the Islanders in their last game before the all-star break.
Detroit opened with Bertuzzi, Larkin, and Raymond up front as they seemed intent on getting Bertuzzi going after yet another injury last week.
The Islanders had the initial jump as they had the first couple of shots including one from in close by Brock Nelson that Hellberg was able to swallow up. Seider continued to display the physical element of his game, hitting an Islanders forward a couple of times before forcing him out of the defensive zone with the puck.
Early in the first, Bertuzzi took the first penalty of the game on a hooking call. But the Islanders powerplay that has struggled mightily lately, couldn’t get setup in the Wings zone as they repeatedly turned them away at the blue line. When the Islanders finally did set up late in the powerplay, Pageau took a slashing penalty in the slot when he broke Rasmussen’s stick who was standing next to him.
On the Red Wings powerplay attempt, they were able to gain the zone and setup a few times, but they couldn’t create any chance as the Islanders kept them at the perimeter.
Through the first half of the period it was the Islanders carrying the play hemming Detroit in for much of the first ten minutes, but weren’t creating any high danger scoring chances beyond a couple of net front scrambles that Detroit cleared away. But as a result of their ongoing pressure, Detroit picked up another penalty on a cross check by Veleno. The Islanders powerplay looked more dangerous this time forcing Hellberg into making a few stops before Detroit killed off the penalty.
Coming out of the penalty, it was an effort by Suter and Veleno on a rush opportunity that left a rebound at the top of the crease, but no Detroit player was in the area to knock it in. Late in the period it was the Islanders with the best chance to open the scoring when a cross crease pass to Beauvillier was just barely broken up by Lindstrom. The puck then popped out to the circle to Hellberg’s right and he had to quickly get to the top of his crease to shrug off the shot attempt and keep the Islanders off the board.
A minute later, Detroit had their best chance of very few when Seider made a pass across the top of the offensive zone to Walman, who managed to get the Islanders forward nearby to bite on his fake, before he toe dragged it to the high slot and fired a shot the Sorokin blockered away. One of the main highlights to Walman’s game every night is his control at the offensive blue line, he makes it look incredibly easy, often stepping around attacking forwards to create shot lanes.
The first period lacked much action at all, and what little there was, largely belonged to the Islanders. The Wings looked very much like a team playing their third game in four nights and looking forward to a lengthy break after this game. Hellberg was about the only one who looked good, and perhaps Seider.
Things got feisty early after Copp had a point blank chance when a puck popped out to him right next to Sorokin. Copp tried to beat Sorokin by getting the puck up from in close but couldn’t beat the goaltender. But on that play Mayfield took a holding penalty as he hopped on Rasmussen in the corner. Never a stranger to the extra curriculars, Perron seemed to have the Islanders’ attention after the whistle.
Earl on the powerplay, Berggren found Larkin in the high slot with a pass from the half wall. Larkin turned to his forehand and through a heavy shot on goal, but Sorokin was quick to launch out past the top of the crease in order to snag the shot. While the Wings powerplay looked good they couldn’t convert and the Larkin attempt was their best chance.
But 4:44 into the 2nd period, the Islanders took advantage of a Maatta clearing attempt that hit a stanchion and ended up on the stick of Nelson. Nelson cut back towards the Wings net and shot a low puck towards the goal that Palmieri in front was able to redirect, and it was deflected yet again off a prone Anders Lee stick, and eventually the puck found its way through Hellberg’s legs into the net, 1-0 Islanders.
SCORED WHILE LAYING ON THE ICE. pic.twitter.com/IRMyiAu47k— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 28, 2023
The play was a tough break for Detroit as the puck hit a referee first, then the bounce off the glass onto Nelson’s stick, followed by the double deflection. But nevertheless after not providing much push in this game thus far, they probably didn’t deserve the game’s first goal. The goal didn’t appear to be much of a wakeup call for Detroit though as shortly later Berggren received a holding penalty to send the Islanders to the powerplay. To paint a picture of how poor the Islanders powerplay has been of late, it was 3-for-61 since mid-December. This powerplay was more of the same for New York as they only attempted a shot or two, and none reached the net on the powerplay.
Seider again using his frame, dropped Cizikas at the red line as the Islanders forward dumped a puck in. But what followed was sustained pressure, with Seider getting stuck on the ice for a 2:00 shift. But instead of an exhausted Wings team taking the penalty it was Parise who ended up receiving a penalty for holding Lindstrom’s stick. With a chance to turn the momentum their way, the Red Wings powerplay looked like it had a sense of urgency, with Larkin seeming to be in the center of the action on a few shot attempts. Detroit’s second unit also had some good passing around the Islanders zone, but the end result was still no top level chances with the man advantage.
Late in the period Matt Martin did Matt Martin things when following a simultaneous hit by Martin and Cizikas on Perron, he placed Perron in a headlock in front of the Detroit bench and threw a few blows to Perron’s head. The on-ice mic picked up chatter between Perron and Martin in the box, and Perron said something interesting outside of the usual trash talk heard in those moments. “I know you’re honest, look at it” he said twice to Martin. The period wrapped up with some 4 on 4 time but no chances either way.
Another boring period overall for both teams with the exception of the lone Islanders goal. At one point 9 of Detroit’s 16 shots were on the powerplay so they were not getting much of anything going at even strength.
Ok, so to jar you out of the regular flow of the recap, this is J.J. here to let you know that unfortunately for us, Sportsnet took pity on Josh and cut off his access to watch the third period. he tried as hard as he could to find a solution, but the mercy-killing of his feed lasted the whole way and he reached out to me, so I’m taking over for the third period recap. Here goes:
... the Wings sucked ass and this happened:
ALERT: THE ISLANDERS HAVE SCORED A THIRD PERIOD GOAL!— Islanders Videos (@SNY_Islanders) January 28, 2023
The 11-game streak is snapped by Brock Nelson!
What a snooze that entire game, and I presume the 3rd period that I missed as well. Tough way to enter the break, the Wings are off until February 7th now. We’ll give them a bit of a break playing their third game in four nights, but there was nothing exciting from them tonight. Enjoy the all-star break everyone and we’ll see the Wings back in action in 11 days against McDavid and the Oilers.