Bernier Burns Islanders: Detroit Wins 2-1

Well, good news for fans who are waiting for the season to be over. Andreas Athanasiou is listed as playing wing on a line with Glendening and Tyler Bertuzzi. Since he was going to play center for the rest of the season, the season must have ended before today’s game.

It looks like Daley is out with an upper body injury, and newly recalled Brian Lashoff is in the lineup. Just before puck drop, Helene St. James tweeted that Justin Adbelkader is likely out for the rest of the season with a hairline fracture from a blocked shot.

Ryan Kuffner is in the lineup wearing number 56. It’s nice that someone is playing tribute to the number of blown leads by Detroit this season. The goalies are Jonathan Bernier vs. Thomas Greiss.

Period 1:

Dylan Larkin has the first good chance of the game with Danny Dekeyser throwing a dangerous feed to the net.

GOAL! Athanasiou throws the puck to the net from the top of the circles, and it hits off Ryan Pulock and deflects in. Looking at the replay, AA was trying to pass it. The deflection happened over 10 feet in front of Greiss. Lucky goal, but AA and I will both take it. Detroit leads 1-0.

Nothing much for the next few minutes. Athanasiou gets a pair of good chances, but neither results in a goal.

Devon Toews steps around Luke Witkowski, and the defender trips him, leading to the first power play of the game.

Detroit kills the penalty, with New York only looking dangerous in a flurry at the end.

But then Anders Lee is left wide open in front of Bernier. Brock Nelson feeds him for the goal to tie the game 1-1.

Larkin takes a hit but passes to Mantha to send the winger in on a two-on-one. Mantha waits, then shoots, but Greiss makes the stop. The whistle blows, and Detroit will go to a power play. Too many men.

Hronek gave the puck away twice, the first leading to a Clutterbuck break the other way. Overall, it was a very disappointing power play. Couldn’t get anything going.

Scott Mayfield beats the defense and tries to deke Bernier. Bernier keeps it out, so the score remains 1-1 going into the last TV timeout of the period.

Coming out of the timeout, Athanasiou’s speed creates a two-on-one, but he can’t get the puck to Bertuzzi, who is driving the net.

Athanasiou gets a good chance with about a minute left, but Greiss kicks out the pad to keep the puck out. Athanasiou has been involved in the vast majority of the Red Wings’ chances this period.

Overall, the first period was pretty disappointing. The score is still tied, but New York was the better team. The shot attempt disparity seems like an accurate indicator of how this period went.

Basically, this was the first period.

Period 2:

Ken Daniels looks to be preparing to call some playoff games on a team with Pierre McGuire because he spends a good two minutes mentioning which team each player on the ice used to play for.

Mickey Redmond appears to have made a bet to see how many times he can refer to Kuffner as “a straight A student.” We’re up to at least three.

Jonathan Bernier decides that he’s just as bored as the fans in attendance and passes the puck up the middle nine minutes in. Fortunately for Detroit, the puck isn’t intercepted.

GOAL! Athanasiou gets his second of the game as Danny Dekeyser fires a hard pass to AA, who tips it in from the side of the net. What a great look from Dekeyser and a fantastic play by Athanasiou to control the hard pass.

Shortly after, Detroit goes back to the power play.

Nielsen drives the goal, but Greiss keeps it out and makes a second save while still down.

Detroit is playing way too slow on the power play for the aggressiveness of the NYI penalty kill. It’s infuriating to watch. The top unit, with the same five players, were so much better in the few games before Larkin was hurt.

Kronwall can’t keep up with Filppula, and the former Red Wing draws a penalty. The Islanders will go to their second power play of the afternoon with just over four minutes left in the second.

Bernier makes some good saves on the first half of the power play. He has definitely been among the best Red Wings so far. Detroit kills the rest of the power play.

The period ends with Detroit leading 2-1 even though they have clearly been the worst team so far.

Period 3:

Larkin’s line has a shift full of sustained pressure at the beginning of the period, but Detroit can’t extend the lead. The period began with Detroit being outshot 30 to 12.

Not surprisingly, the Islanders are making a big push to tie the game. Two points here would put them into a tie with Washington for first place in the Metro.

Athanasiou has a great chance for the hat trick, but Greiss keeps the score 2-1. Thomas Hickey tries to get in AA’s way, and for a minute it looks like Athanasiou may be hurt, but he looks OK.

With 10 minutes left to play, Detroit has started to chip away at the shot disparity, but they still trail 35 to 21.

Barzal nearly tied the game with 6:30 left, but the pass to him bounced.

Darren Helm nearly extended the lead, but shot it wide from right in front of the net.

Anders Lee and Larkin bumped near the end boards, and Larkin went in awkwardly. It looked bad at first, but he seems to be ok.

Pulock had his turn to nearly tie it, but he hit the post after being left wide open in front of the goal.

Detroit will head to the power play with 90 seconds left after a high sticking penalty.

The power play is “boring,” which is exactly what Detroit wanted. New York pulls the goalie. Oh, and it stops being boring when New York found a loose puck under Bernier, nearly poked it in, then put the puck over the goal.

Detroit wins 2-1! They didn’t really deserve to win this game, but we’ve been on the other end so many times that I don’t feel bad.