The Red Wings got their sixth straight home win, breaking a long standing record against the Islanders. Brendan Smith had the game winner to seal a 4-1 win over New York at Joe Louis Arena Saturday afternoon. Goals from Jonathan Ericsson and Gustav Nyquist helped keep them in contention for the Atlantic Division lead.
The Islanders came back to Detroit looking to maintain their dominance over Detroit, as they still haven’t lost a game at the Joe since 2002-03 season. They have an 8-1-1 record. Like the Red Wings, New York broke a five game winning streak to the Bruins taking a similar beating like Detroit. Tampa delivered a 5-1 loss to the Wings with Petr Mrazek allowing all five. Before he can be given a break with the close return of Jonas Gustavsson, he would deal with another strong team while having the home advantage back.
It worked out six minutes into the game where Luke Glendening was trying to get shots in behind Isles Chad Johnson pulling off moves that he has learned since being on a hot streak during the month of January. On Detroit’s opening power play, Tomas Tatar got back to scoring since Jan. 18 receiving a pass from Pavel Datsyuk out front to snap the puck into the net recording his 22nd of the season. They kept the lead in their favor through the remainder of the period stopping five shots and a late power play from New York.
The second period saw Detroit breaking through the Islander defense chipping pucks near the net of Johnson. Their attempts were blocked off by the six foot three goaltender while the current line went into take away the possession. On a short break from New York, Mrazek bravely came out to make a stop of the puck. On his way back, the Islanders shot the puck back in an instant where he made the stop being feet away from the crease.
Detroit kept the fight alive killing two back to back penalties that led to them getting back on the offensive side of the puck. Before the period could come to an end, the Red Wings moved the puck around in the Islanders zone where Smith skated on the far end completely open. Tomas Jurco viewed Smith getting ready to fire as he passed the puck for him to score his third of the season to the top shelf giving them a strong 2-0 lead.
The third period was still left to play and the Islanders were still dangerous enough to give the Red Wings a lot to worry about having the chance of coming back. They took five shots on net through five minutes of play where they caught a power play on a bad call for Detroit for interference. They score just ten seconds into the man advantage where Lubomir Visnovsky fired a centering shot on the net cutting Detroit’s lead in half.
The Red Wings got the two goal lead back on a shot from Ericsson that went through traffic handing him his third of the season. Detroit scored four minutes later on another power play where Red Wings Captain Henrik Zetterberg fired a shot that went off the leg of New York’s Ryan Strome to ricochet to Nyquist scoring his 20th and Zetterberg his 31st assist.
The remaining minutes of regulation were under the control of the Red Wings who held off the last remnants of New York’s offense to break a huge losing streak to one of the strongest teams in the NHL. Mrazek had a better showing at home against the Isles making 22 saves with a .952 save percentage giving him is 11th victory.
The win gave the Detroit Red Wings their 1,700th wins in their franchise history. Another streak has occurred where the Red Wings have not lost back to back games this season that hasn’t happened since the Montreal Canadiens during the 1977-78 season.
With the information in the mind of the players, Detroit will get back into action when they hit the road out west to face the Colorado Avalanche Thursday.